Khao Tom Thai Rice Soup

[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

For this Thai-inspired soup, rice is cooked right in the broth, generously seasoned with lemongrass, shallots, and garlic. With savory ground pork to give it some heft and a finishing drizzle of fish sauce, it's a dish that's simple, flavor-packed, and wholly satisfying.

About the author: Sydney Oland lives in Somerville, Mass. Find more information at (or read

Khao Tom Thai Rice Soup

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 4
Active time:5 minutes
Total time:25 minutes
This recipe appears in: Sunday Brunch: Khao Tom Thai Rice Soup


  • 6 cups homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 (5-inch pieces lemongrass), halved lengthwise
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 cups short-grain rice
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce, plus more to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 Thai bird chili, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought fried shallots (optional)


  1. 1

    In a pot combine stock, shallots, lemongrass, garlic, and rice and bring to a simmer. Cook until soup is thickened and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to low Remove lemongrass and discard.

  2. 2

    Add ground pork and stir, breaking up the pork, until pork is fully cooked, about 2 minutes. Add fish sauce, a pinch of salt, and lime juice. Stir in half of cilantro, half of scallions, half of chili, and all of the tofu. Add more fish sauce and salt to taste.

  3. 3

    Divide soup between bowls, then top with remaining cilantro, scallions, chilies, tofu, and fried shallots. Serve immediately.

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