Thai Chicken and Rice Breakfast Soup (Khao Tom Gai) is a delicious and popular Thai breakfast. This heartwarming soup is a popular breakfast dish in Thailand, known for its comforting flavors and nourishing qualities. It truly is a comfort food throughout the year! Give this Thai rice soup a try. You’ll be addicted in no time!
To elevate your broth game, make this recipe to use instead of the water in this Thai rice soup! Crockpot Asin beef bone broth.
You can easily use ground pork or turkey for this Thai rice soup. The stock from the spareribs seasoned with Thai white peppercorn, cilantro stems, and a small amount of seasoning sauce is the perfect combination of flavors that make this Thai rice soup a breakfast favorite.
- Why You'll Love This Thai Chicken and Rice Soup
- What is Khao Tom Gai?
- Thai Rice Soup = Chicken Noodle Soup in America
- What is the difference between Porridge, Congee, Jok, and Kao Tom?
- Chicken rice soup flavor profiles
- Ingredients for Thai chicken rice soup
- How to make Thai Rice Soup
- Suggested Thai Rice Soup condiments
- How to make pickled sour chili peppers
- Kitchen Notes
- Helpful Kitchen Tools for This Recipe
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Related Thai Recipes You'll Love
- Thai Chicken and Rice Breakfast Soup (Khao Tom Gai)
Start your day with a taste of Thailand as we introduce you to the delightful Thai Chicken and Rice Breakfast Soup, also known as Khao Tom Gai. In this blog post, I"ll share the magic behind this traditional Thai breakfast soup, guide you through its preparation, and offer helpful tips to make it a delightful addition to your morning routine.
Prepare yourself for a breakfast that will transport you to the vibrant streets of Thailand with every spoonful!
Why You'll Love This Thai Chicken and Rice Soup
- This Thai Chicken and Rice Breakfast Soup is the perfect way to kickstart your day with a warm and comforting bowl of goodness.
- This hot soup will last a few days, up to 5 days in the fridge. Use it as your breakfast each morning for the week. It's excellent as leftovers for the next day.
- It's comforting. This Thai soup is the ultimate comfort food because of its light soothing flavors with a healing aromatic fragrance of spices and fried garlic. It's a favorite recipe amongst Thais when one is sick and needs a bowl of comfort for a hot rice soup.
- The combination of tender chicken, fragrant jasmine rice, and aromatic herbs in a savory broth is an irresistible way to greet the morning.
What is Khao Tom Gai?
Khao Tom Gai, also known as Thai Chicken and Rice Breakfast Soup, is a traditional Thai breakfast dish that features tender chicken and jasmine rice cooked in a flavorful broth. The soup is typically seasoned with fresh ginger, cilantro, and Thai chili peppers, adding a zesty and aromatic touch. It's a soothing and hearty breakfast option that brings comfort and warmth to your morning routine.
Thai Rice Soup = Chicken Noodle Soup in America
There are many versions of this Asian rice soup, but this is my family’s recipe, and, of course, I modified it a bit to make it as easy as possible for you to make this at home. I love how easily you can adapt and adjust the ingredients as needed. For example, you can use shitake mushrooms that are fresh or dried for this recipe. I opted for Portabella mushroom instead because it was more readily available and delicious!
A few helpful tips and techniques help make this soup tasty! Check out the Kitchen notes/tips section at the bottom of this post.
What is the difference between Porridge, Congee, Jok, and Kao Tom?
Thai rice soup is often called Rice Porridge, Congee, Jok, or Kao Tom. There are a few differences between these terms.
Porridge is made with oats, while Congee is made with rice.
Jok is made with rice, but you allow the rice to cook to break down to pudding-like consistency.
Kao Tom is boiled rice that cooks until part of the rice is soft but not broken down completely. These soup-like dishes require an extended amount of time to boil the ingredient until soft.
Each region has various versions with countless flavors, spices, and ingredients.
Chicken rice soup flavor profiles
The flavor profiles of this soup tend to be milder since this popular Asian rice soup can be garnished with a few toppings to personalize the taste. If you ordered this Thai rice soup while in Thailand, you will receive a group of garnishes like fried garlic, pickled Thai chili peppers, dried chili pepper flakes, cilantro/culantro, green onions, fish sauce, Thai white peppercorn, and granulated sugar.
My best suggestion is to taste the soup without any added garnishing to taste the delicious flavors truly. Then, add a tiny amount of each garnish as desired.... except for fried garlic. Just load up on that! Just kidding, but not really. (:
I swear this soup is not the same without the fried garlic. Here's my crispy fried garlic recipe you'll love.
Ingredients for Thai chicken rice soup
Below is the simple ingredient list in photos. I broke the list down into two parts. The stock and the soup ingredients. Here is my best and easy version of one of my favorite comfort foods from Thai cuisine. You can find almost all the ingredients in your regular grocery store.
Ingredients for Khao Tom Soup
- Cooked jasmine or white rice
- Ground meat, chicken, pork, or turkey.
- Portabella mushroom. Approx. Three large mushrooms
- Seasoning sauce, Maggie, or Golden Mountain brand. Find these at most Asian markets.
Ingredients for Khao Tom Stock
You only need five ingredients of water to make the stock. (water picture not shown). We'll use these ingredients to make tasty stock, the important base for this rice soup.
- Spare ribs
- Cilantro stems or use the largest and lowest stems possible.
- Grounded Thai white peppercorns.
How to make Thai Rice Soup
Step 1. Gather all the ingredient lists for the stock, which are pork ribs, cilantro stems, salt, and Thai white peppercorns. Place the stock ingredients in a large pot, at least 6 quarts. Pour 14 cups of water into the pot and bring to a boil.
Step 2. Turn the heat down to medium to medium-low heat. Pour the rice into the pot and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes. Scoop out scum as necessary.
Step 3. Add all the soup ingredient lists; ground meat, portobello mushroom, and seasoning sauce. Crumble the ground meat into small pieces before adding to avoid big clumps. Cook for 10-15 more minutes.
Step 4. Carefully scoop out the spareribs using a slotted spoon. Let it cool to room temperature before handling it. Then carefully remove the bones, slice the tender meat into small bite-size pieces, and put all the meat back into the pot.
Step 5. Stir everything well one last time and turn the heat off. Done and ready to serve hot! Get rib meats into each serving bowl and savor every bite of this comforting Thai rice soup!
Suggested Thai Rice Soup condiments
Have a small condiment bowl ready for garnishing this Thai rice soup recipe. Use these garnishes to customize your taste further by adding a few of your favorite items.
- Fried garlic. Use store-bought or make your own garlic with oil with this easy recipe.
- Crispy fried shallots.
- Chopped cilantro or culantro. Check out my detailed blog post about Thai herbs.
- Chopped green onion (spring onion)
- Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Granulated brown or white sugar
- Ground Thai white peppercorn powder. Add a pinch of white pepper for an extra kick of heat and fragrance.
- Ground black pepper
- Pickled bird’s eye chili peppers
- Lime wedges for fresh squeezed lime juice
- Soft-boiled eggs
- Pickled mustard greens, chopped into small pieces.
How to make pickled sour chili peppers
- Chop ten fresh chili peppers into tiny round pieces (use kitchen gloves for this!)
- Add ½ cup of vinegar (white or rice vinegar)
- Let it sit unrefrigerated for 2 hours before serving.
- You can use this garnish repeatedly until your entire soup pot is gone.
- Use cilantro roots, where all the fantastic flavors are most concentrated. If not, use the thickest and biggest parts of the cilantro stems but double up on the amount of the stems used.
- Make sure to use cooked jasmine or white rice for the rice used, but not freshly cooked. Day-old rice is perfect, but if you are in a hurry, place the cooked rice on a plate on a thin spread to let the moisture out, or your Thai rice soup will be too porridge-like.
- Use whole Thai white peppers if possible; you can always grind them to powdered form. Whole white peppers have a stronger flavor because they hold their freshness longer, making the seasoning taste even better.
- You can use spare ribs or baby back ribs for the bone broth. I used spare ribs and loved the result—the meat from the spare ribs for the extra protein.
- Some Kao Tom Recipes use eggs, but I won’t here because I want minimal ingredients for this dish. Plus, there’s plenty of protein from the ground meat and the spare ribs.
- Thai rice soup freezes well to freeze leftovers in small glass jars for up to 3 months.
Helpful Kitchen Tools for This Recipe
- A large pot or saucepan for cooking the soup.
- A sharp chef's knife for slicing the chicken and preparing the fresh ingredients.
- For a vegetarian version, you can use vegetable broth and substitute the chicken with tofu or mushrooms.
- Pork Version: Instead of chicken, you can use ground pork or pork spare ribs as a base for the soup stock for a delightful pork variation of the soup.
- Seafood Option: For seafood lovers, you can add shrimp or fish pieces to the soup for a delicious seafood twist.
- Thai chili peppers can be replaced with bell peppers for a milder version of the soup.
While this soup is best enjoyed fresh, you can store any leftover portions in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat gently on the stovetop before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, pre-cooked rice, especially leftover rice, is convenient for making this soup.
While it's best to enjoy the soup fresh, you can prepare the ingredients ahead of time for a quicker cooking process.
While possible, the texture of the soup may change slightly after freezing. It's best enjoyed fresh.
Absolutely! You can adjust the amount of Thai chili peppers to make the soup as mild or as spicy as you prefer.
Related Thai Recipes You'll Love
- Homemade Thai Green Curry paste
- Thai omelets
- Crispy fried shallots
- Fried garlic and oil
- Rad Na
- Thai sour soup