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Khao Tom Gai in a bowl with garnishes on the side.

Thai Chicken and Rice Breakfast Soup (Khao Tom Gai)

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Suwanee
  • Total Time: 45
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Low Lactose


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!



For the stock

  • 1 pound pork spare ribs
  • 1 ounce cilantro stems, the largest and lowest stems possible
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt. Add more as needed.
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground Thai white peppercorns. Add more or less as needed for your spiciness level.
  • 14 cups water

For the soup

  • 1 cup packed cooked jasmine or white rice
  • 1 pound of ground meat, chicken, pork, or turkey
  • 1 cup portabella mushroom, chop small. Approximately 3 mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons seasoning sauce, Maggie or Golden Mountain brand


  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.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium. Pour the rice into the pot and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes. Scoop out scum as necessary.
  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.
  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.
  5. Stir everything well one last time and turn the heat off. Done and ready to serve hot! Make sure to get some rib meats into each serving bowl and savor every bite of this comforting Thai rice soup!


  • 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.

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  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Category: Soups
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai