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 to help recover from illness.
For 4 Person(s)
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.