One-Pot Wonders

Rice Porridge (Khao Tom)

May 14, 2011
7 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Serves 2
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. - edamame2003 —edamame2003

Test Kitchen Notes

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! - SwoonMySpoon —SwoonMySpoon

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • David Ehl
    David Ehl
  • Elizabeth Eichholz
    Elizabeth Eichholz
  • Joanne Godin Audretsch
    Joanne Godin Audretsch
  • Ann Hupe
    Ann Hupe
  • healthierkitchen
I work in the entertainment business, and in my free time, I really enjoy growing my own vegetables, trolling my local farmers markets and trying to re-create yummy dishes I eat at my favorite restaurants. My son is a big influence on how and what I cook. He's my guinea pig and promises to try anything I make once. Luckily the recipes on food52 are bountiful and delicious.

17 Reviews

David E. May 17, 2020
Love this recipe, it is so nice to make in the morning with left over rice.
Elizabeth E. May 12, 2020
I don’t usually write reviews on recipes too often but this was too good not to. Wow! Possibly the best lunch I’ve ever made with such seemingly simple directions and ingredients. I had to replace cilantro with dill, and added some shallot and cooked spinach since I had them, but the basis of this dish is amazingly sublime without (I’m sure). I will definitely make again (and probably buy ground pork just for this :) Thank you for making my day!!
Robin F. March 24, 2020
This was delicious! Like a gigantic food hug......very necessary and needed with everything that’s going on. Thank you.
Stay safe and healthy.
Joanne G. March 20, 2020
Also... proof read please! Pulling the fish sauce port of your panty might not be the best advertisement for this dish! 😹
Jean May 13, 2020
Made me chuckle. 😸
I worked for an agro-chem company before I retired. An entomologist who worked there said one time when he was giving a talk about “pantry pests” at a convention & he got up to speak, he noticed that the room was crowded. He was quite pleased that so many were interested in what he had to say. Then he noticed the sign advertising his talk.
It said “PANTY PESTS.”
Ann H. February 21, 2020
Delish! But you need to change the name for accuracy's sake! It should be: "Jok (Thai Rice Porridge)". Khao Tom is a Thai dessert made of rice and lots of sugar. Check Wikipedia if you need to.
edamame2003 February 21, 2020
Hi Ann! thanks for trying this. Jok is a different dish made of broken rice and has a denser consistency. thanks for reminding me--I'm going to have to re-visit that one. Also, I'm pretty sure Khao Tom is translated as boiled rice in Thai.
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!
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
edamame2003 May 18, 2011
gingerroot May 14, 2011
Yum, this looks incredibly delicious!
edamame2003 May 18, 2011
it's my son's favorite. thai chicken soup.
mrslarkin May 14, 2011
oh, yummy!!
edamame2003 May 18, 2011
thank you!