Khao Tom – Thai Rice Porridge

Khao Tom or Thai Rice Porridge made by Sumalee

Jars of Khao Tom or Thai Rice Porridge made by Sumalee

Ah, soup. Every family’s got one, and every gal has a favorite. While I have a long, sweet relationship with Tom Kha, the well known Thai coconut based soup, it’s Khao Tom, its less glamorous Thai rice porridge cousin, that springs to my mind when I think of homemade soup. My dad used to make buckets of this stuff when I was a kid, mixing together starchy boiled rice with ground pork and ginger, and then topping it with whatever was around– scallions, cilantro, peanuts, and my perennial fave, crispy fried garlic.

When I visited Thailand, we ate this in every town and village for breakfast, piled high with fixins. It satisfies the craving for something simultaneously brothy, spicy, salty, savory, tangy, and sweet, which is something I love about Thai food. This version can be thrown together in a big batch, kept in jars in the fridge, and then warmed as needed throughout the week for pretty much any time you need a little comfort food!

Here is the recipe that works for me, including the crispy fried garlic, or Garlic Crunchies, as my dad calls them (patent pending).

Note: I’ve used ground pork in this recipe because that’s how my family makes it, but the whole concept here is to use whatever you have around to make the soup, so adjust away! I think this would be delicious with tempeh, seafood, leftover rotisserie chicken, etc. I’m going to try sweet potato next time!

What is your favorite comfort food soup? Can anything beat this khao tom?

honest-millennial-signature Sumalee Eaton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bowl of Khao Tom or Thai Rice Porridge made by Sumalee, with a cilantro and scallion garnish

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Khao Tom - Thai Rice Porridge
A traditional rice soup, eaten widely in Thailand as a breakfast dish, but perfect for any time of day! Make for a crowd or portion out as needed throughout the week.
A bowl of Khao Tom or Thai Rice Porridge made by Sumalee, with a cilantro and scallion garnish
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Thai
Servings
hearty bowls
Ingredients
Boiled Rice
  • 1 cup rice jasmine is good, but you can experiment
Meat and Soup Broth
Fried Garlic (Garlic Crunchies)
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Thai
Servings
hearty bowls
Ingredients
Boiled Rice
  • 1 cup rice jasmine is good, but you can experiment
Meat and Soup Broth
Fried Garlic (Garlic Crunchies)
A bowl of Khao Tom or Thai Rice Porridge made by Sumalee, with a cilantro and scallion garnish
Instructions
Boiled Rice
  1. Add 1 cup of rice and two cups of water to a medium pot, and bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for 5 minutes. Please, for the love of god, salt your water.
  2. Add 4 cups of water or so to the pot, bring back to a boil, then let simmer for 12-15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the soup. The idea is to have soft, over boiled rice, and you can remove it from heat when you feel it gets to this point.*
Meat and Soup Broth
  1. Over medium high heat, saute the onion in oil until fragrant, then add the lemongrass and ginger and saute until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the ground pork and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Break up the pork into small pieces, cooking until all pink is gone. Add in the fish sauce and soy sauce, incorporate well.
  3. Pour the stock over the pork mixture, bring to a brief boil, and then simmer for about 5 minutes. You can eyeball the amount of stock based on the broth-meat ratio you desire.
  4. If eating immediately (and why not?), portion some boiled rice in a serving bowl, then pour the soup mixture over it to taste. Garnish to your heart's content and enjoy! If you are saving for later, allow everything to cool, and then store rice and soup in a single container. When you're ready to eat, warm a portion and garnish.
Fried Garlic
  1. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, and gently stir. Babysit until garlic has some nice color and appears sufficiently crispy. Remove from heat to avoid burning. You can easily do this while the pork is cooking and it will still be hot when it's time to serve!
Recipe Notes

On boiled rice: If you plan to save the soup to eat over a course of time, you should be careful not to overcook the rice too much. It's still boiled rice, but if it is super mushy and then you add it to the soup broth to store in the fridge, it will be super mushy. Matter of preference,  but I like my rice to still be defined in this soup.

You can also use leftover rice, just boil it with the broth when it's ready.

Garnishes: This dish is made to be garnished to death! My favorite toppings are fried minced garlic, fresh ginger (as if there isn't enough already), cilantro, scallions, and a squiggle of sriracha, but any condiments you desire are also appropriate. Sweet chili sauce, lime, nuts/seeds, avocado, bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, Thai basil, etc would all be delicious!

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Spicy Crab Quiche

Crab Quiche by Sumalee Eaton

Crab Quiche Slice by Sumalee EatonIs there a more perfect brunch food than quiche? Don’t answer that– I know it’s quiche. These adorable egg-pies are so versatile and so tasty, as well as reasonably easy to prepare, so whenever I want a food that perfectly straddles the breakfast and lunch boundaries, I know what I’m making. Recently, it’s been all about Crab Quiche.

And could there possibly be a better way to elevate a humble quiche than to add crab to it? I got super lucky this winter when my mom brought me several 8oz tubs of picked lump crab meat from her trip to Maine, and I knew almost immediately that at least one of those tubs was destined for quiche greatness.

I went rogue and totally improvised this recipe, and like most quiches, you can play with the proportions to make it the way you like it. I was going for sort of a quiche-crab cake hybrid, opting for a higher proportion of crab meat to egg filling, but of course, you can do what you like! Essentially, we blind bake our crust, mix up some tasty crab and accoutrements, and then merely fill in the gaps with a lightly beaten mixture of eggs and milk. Season the way you like, top the whole thing with crushed Ritz and more cheese, and you are on your way to brunch.

I think this would be simply delicious with some dry white wine and a little fruit or salted tomato on the side, but that’s just my basic bitch talking. Do you!

Print Recipe
Spicy Crab Quiche
Everything in this delectable seafood quiche is negotiable, except for the crab! Using your pre-baked pie crust, you can vary the proportions of the filling considerably without ruining the final product, just be smart. The crust recipe makes two 9" crusts, so save crust #2 for a second quiche later in the week, or make a giant crab deep dish quiche.
Crab Quiche by Sumalee Eaton
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Breakfast, Brunch
Servings
small slices
Ingredients
Crust
Quiche Filling
Topping
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Breakfast, Brunch
Servings
small slices
Ingredients
Crust
Quiche Filling
Topping
Crab Quiche by Sumalee Eaton
Instructions
Crust
  1. Measure out 6 tbs of water into a ramekin or cup, and add a few ice cubes. Combine salt, sugar, and flour in a food processor (or be prepared to get creative with a blender).
  2. Add butter and lard and pulse to create a coarse meal texture.
  3. Drizzle in ice water, pulsing as you go. You want the dough to lightly hold together when pressed together.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead gently, incorporating anything loose. Cut into two equal parts and form them into disks, then wrap them in parchment or put into airtight Pyrex. (You'll only be using one for this recipe, so keep the other one safe from drying out.) Chill for 30 minutes-an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375. Unwrap one of your chilled disks, and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is just big enough to fill your pie plate with a bit or overhang. Use your rolling pin to swoop it up and place it over the pie plate, allowing it to "slump" down into it. Trim and crimp however you like.
  6. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork all over, then bake until it achieves desired color. (I like it pretty toasty and golden.) Remove from oven and allow to cool before filling.
Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Warm a few tablespoons of your favorite oil in a saucepan. Saute your diced onion until slightly fragrant. Add the jalapeno and cook until soft.
  3. In a bowl, add crab, cheese, cilantro, green onions, spices, salt and pepper. Add sauteed onion and jalapeno mixture on top, and lightly combine everything. Place this mixture in your baked pie shell.
  4. Lightly beat the eggs and milk together (using the same bowl if you want to save on washing up). Pour over quiche filling in crust, lightly shaking to even out.
  5. If desired, scatter small chunks of cream cheese throughout the quiche, burrowing slightly beneath egg mixture.
  6. Crush handfuls of Ritz crackers over top of quiche, then sprinkle with cheese. Quantity and consistency up to you, my friend.
  7. Bake in center of the oven, on a baking sheet if available, for about 25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown, and the center is set. Allow to cool before slicing for maximum ease.
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What’s your favorite brunch go-to? Is my quiche obsession healthy? Challenge me in the comments!

honest-millennial-signature Sumalee Eaton

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