Khao Tom is a Thai Rice Soup that is commonly eaten for breakfast. Serve it with different proteins and toppings for a filling savory meal.
Kha tom along with Thai Fried Rice, instantly bring back so many childhood memories. Rice is very affordable, and my mom would always have a pot of rice cooking almost every day. This is fairly common in Asian households.
While I've cut back on my rice consumption, I still enjoy making classic Thai recipes every so often.
What is Khao Tom?
‘Khao’ means Rice and ‘Tom’ means to boil, so Boiled Rice is the literal translation. Essentially it is a Thai Rice Soup that is serve for breakfast or from late night street vendors in Bangkok.
There is also a version called Jok, which is thicker and more like Chinese congee. Jok is usually made with a flavorful broth and broken rice to form a porridge like consistency.
Khao Tom on the other hand is just boiled rice, water, and a pinch of salt. The rice soup itself doesn't have a lot of flavor, and instead the flavor comes from the toppings.
How to Make Khao Tom
The rice soup can be made with either day old rice, or you can boil rice with extra water to get the right consistency.
When boiling the rice, start with a 3 to 1 ratio, 3 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. I did end up adding more water, but wait to see once the rice starts cooking. Also, be sure to rinse your rice before cooking, this goes for any rice.
Toppings for Khao Tom
The toppings for khao tom can vary, but you want a combination of some type of protein and saltiness to add flavor. This is meant to be a savory recipe and the toppings can also include some spice.
The Thai omelet provides protein and saltiness. Other options include a hard boiled egg or poached egg.
The Chinese sausage also provides protein and has a slight sweetness to it. You can find this sausage at most Asian markets or on Amazon. I like to slice the sausage, boil it, then pan fry to get some color and crispiness on the sausage.
You can substitute any kind of sausage you like. In the YouTube video I used a Hawaiian chicken sausage and the flavors worked really well in the khao tom.
The last topping I'm using is fermented mustard greens. These have a briny taste to them. They bring a crunchy and sour element to the kha tom.
I use them straight out of the can and chop them finely. You can also add more lime and chopped Thai peppers for some spice.
Khao Tom can be served family style with all the toppings in separate bowls. For more umami and spice serve with prik nam pla, which is fish sauce, lime juice, and Thai peppers.
How long does Kha Tom last?
The rice will expand as it cools and the longer it is kept. Store leftover khao tom in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Re-heat and add additional water as needed. Keep in mind it will get softer after reheating.
Check out these other authentic Thai dishes:
Khao Tom Recipe
- Add water to a pot with a lid and bring to a boil.
- Rinse Jasmine rice then add to boiling water. Stir and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue boiling and stirring every few minutes until rice is soft. This takes about 20 minutes. Add more water until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt.
- Slice Chinese sausage and add to a skillet with water. Boil for 10 minutes. Drain out water and place sausage back on the stove. Sauté until slightly crispy, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk Eggs and fish sauce until combined. Cook over a skillet or in a pot with oil, as show Here.
- Remove mustard greens from can. Chop into small pieces and squeeze some lime for extra acidity. Add diced Thai Birds eye chili for spice.
- Ladle rice into bowls, if it becomes too thick, add more water. Dress with toppings and serve with additional fish sauce if needed.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and depends on ingredients and amounts used. Thai Caliente makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.