Thai Rice Soup with Shrimp, 'Khao Tom Goong'

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Khao tom is a staple in Thailand, being widely eaten as a breakfast dish as well as an accompaniment to lunch and dinner. It can be cooked plain (without the shrimp), or as here with shrimp. It can also be made by simple substitution with chicken, pork, or any combination of seafood that you have to hand. It can be made with cooked left over chicken/shrimp etc, or as here with fresh ingredients. It is however almost always made from pre-cooked rice from a day before (though not always left-overs: the cook will often simply ladle enough rice from the electric rice pot to make the soup shortly before serving). Made with chicken it is a popular meal for recovering patients who still feel a little queasy.


2 cups water
1 cup cooked Thai jasmine rice
1 cup thinly sliced Chinese celery (including the leaves), or spring onion
half teaspoon preserved cabbage
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon Maggi seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic, thinly sliced
Shiitake mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1 teaspoon Thai pepper powder
fried garlic to taste, and a half teaspoon of salted radish always adds a nice taste

You also need 4 large (8 to the pound) shrimp, or half a pound of smaller ones, shelled, deveined, and butterflied, or half a pound of other flavor ingredient.


In a very small amount of oil saute the garlic until golden brown and beginning to crisp up. Pour in the water, and bring to the boil. Next add the celery, Maggi sauce, and fish sauce and pepper powder, and stir until it boils again. Now add the rice, preserved cabbage, shiitake, and return to the boil, continuing to simmer, stirring occasionally. Now add the shrimp, and cook until they turn pink.

Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle fried garlic over each serving, and garnish with chopped coriander/cilantro leaves, we like to add a few thin slices of fresh ginger also (see picture below). It is also popular to serve a small dish of moo yong dried pork on the side with this soup.

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August 22nd, 2009
4:19 PM
Josan charn to be eaten with salted egg,chop sharllote and lime. Also 2 eggs omlet with a little fish sauce. You can also eat with salted fish (harm yue). Delicious. Last Emperor loved it. Something to eat before going to the Chinese Embassy. Ha,ha,ha. Jack
January 31st, 2010
11:03 AM
this has to be in my top 10 favorite breakfasts of all time
February 23rd, 2010
7:25 AM
this good to eat i love this soup
H. G. "Taksin" Robinson
June 29th, 2011
12:06 AM
Used to have this for breakfast every morning when we lived in Bangkok from 2003 - 2005. Really miss Thai food even though we prepare it quite often. Even the local Thai restaurants fail to create Thai food, Thai style. Really miss Kao Man Gai. I am a an Expat and have been back and forth to Thailand since 1968.
April 6th, 2012
8:10 PM
Love this with sliced ginger and preserved radish, and don't forget fried garlic.

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