Rice Porridge (Khao Tom)

May 14, 2011

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This contest brought back memories of my days as a student living in New York. I would allow myself a budget of $1 a day for food. Sometimes that dollar would go to the hot dog vendor in front of school (that a hot dog was $1 tells you how long ago I lived in NY), other days; a pack of egg noodles, butter, salt and pepper would get me through 3 days. But there was one dish that still today costs under $1 a serving--rice porridge. There are lots of variations of this dish. Plain white rice cooked to a thick paste, eaten with pickled vegetables (congee); crushed grains of rice cooked to a stew-like consistency (jook). This is my family's favorite version--made with ground turkey or pork. I like mine topped with a poached egg. - edamame2003edamame2003

Food52 Review: I call this dish, "a big bowl of comfy and a good excuse to dig out my bottle of fish sauce from the back of the panty." The technique of double-cooking the rice gives it a creamy and rich texture (I was almost convinced that I must have added cream). The fish sauce, while a bit stinky at first whiff, transforms into a secret ingredient that elevates the dish to yum. The egg yolk coats the rice and gives it a wonderfully silky feel, while the green onion and cilantro add just the right finish. This is the first time I've had rice porridge (Khao Tom) and I’m officially a fan. It's a big bowl of comfy that won’t break the bank! - SwoonMySpoonSwoonMySpoon

Serves: 2


  • 2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 1/4 pound ground turkey or pork
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (more to taste)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 green onion, chopped for garish
  • 1 handful cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper, to taste
In This Recipe


  1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Lower to medium heat and cook the ground meat in the water for about 5 minutes, separating the meat into chunks.
  2. Drain the meat from the boiling water and wash the pot. Add the meat and rice to the pot.
  3. Add enough water to just cover the rice by an inch and heat to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer for another 10 minutes for rice to soften.
  4. While the rice and meat are cooking, add fish sauce to taste. Start with 1 tablespoon and add more for more flavor.
  5. Poach the eggs in the porridge for at least 2 minutes depending on how runny you like your eggs.
  6. Divide into bowls and top with pepper, cilantro and chopped green onion.

More Great Recipes:
Soup|Cilantro|Grains|Green Onion/Scallion|Pork|Rice|One-Pot Wonders|Quick and Easy|Weeknight Cooking|Winter|On the Cheap|Entree

Reviews (10) Questions (1)

10 Reviews

Jason R. December 17, 2018
Really dig this recipe, but covering the rice by an inch at a simmer and cooking for 10 minutes does not yield the consistency in the first picture. If I cover by .5”, I simmer for at least 15-20, or until the liquid has reduced enough to a porridge consistency. The longer cooking results in even softer rice. I’ve also been unable to poach the egg in the pot and have resorted to poaching in a separate pot. Added a smidge of miso instead of adding more fish sauce to taste and served each with two eggs for maximum yolky goodness.
Muy Y. November 10, 2018
Thanks so much for this simple recipe. The only addition was that I added spinach at the very end. Yummy!
pipermohr May 17, 2011
Just made it for lunch... made some minor modifications by putting in some basil and cilantro cubes (frozen from Trader Joes), added a touch of salt (but probably didn't need it), and a touch of garlic powder and ginger powder. If I had some dried lemon grass, might have tried that as well. Very tasty and simple!
Author Comment
edamame2003 May 18, 2011
i love all the adds...if you used fish sauce, probably don't need salt. ginger, garlic and lemon grass--now you're talking! just add lime and you've got tom yum! i'm glad you tried it and liked it!
healthierkitchen May 15, 2011
Author Comment
edamame2003 May 18, 2011
gingerroot May 14, 2011
Yum, this looks incredibly delicious!
Author Comment
edamame2003 May 18, 2011
it's my son's favorite. thai chicken soup.
mrslarkin May 14, 2011
oh, yummy!!
Author Comment
edamame2003 May 18, 2011
thank you!