Thursday, June 25, 2015

Khoa Tom Moo / Thai Rice Soup with Pork

What is your typical everyday breakfast like?   Egg dishes? Quick toasted bread, muffins, bagels, croissant, and coffee? Quick oatmeal?  Or a healthier version like fruit smoothies?    I guess you all might say the same thing, “all of the above.”   Right?   It’s understandable that most of us have to get up early every morning and get ready to go for work which left us no time to make a decent breakfast that we can just sit down and slowly enjoy it every bite as it should be the way to start out every morning, except for the weekend.  But when the weekend arrive, what do you make for your family for breakfast, really?   Let me guess.  Scramble eggs, crispy bacon, toasted bread, and coffee.   Right?   The same things of what you’ve been having all week, except you can take time to appreciate and enjoy it more.   

Well, have you ever tried a healthy alternative besides your typical breakfast?  Like Thai style breakfast?   If you said no, then you really missed something crazy good if you were one of those people who couldn’t go a day without breakfast.

Khoa Tom Moo or Thai rice soup with pork is a typical Thai breakfast that I grew up eating it before heading off to school.   All the kids love it and adults savor it.   It is the kind of breakfast that will fill your stomach and keep you full until lunch time.  Khoa tom or rice soup can be made with pork, chicken, fish, or even seafood which they are equally good in my opinion.  But Khoa tom is not just for breakfast in Thailand even it is meant to be that way.  Some people prefer eating khoa tom for dinner and after have been heavily drinking all night long to sober up before heading home which is usually at 2 or 3 am in the morning just like people living in the US would go for a burger after the long night drinking.

 Anyway, I make khoa tom at home a lot especially in the winter because the hubby loves it so much and he’d prefer khoa tom to scramble eggs any day even when it’s in the summer months.   

Just to be cleared, khoa tom in Thai is basically just cooking rice with lots of water as it becomes rice soup.    You can use uncooked rice which will take longer, or you can use leftover cooked rice (I prefer) which will save you ton of times from the beginning to finish.   My recipe used Chinese celery leaves which traditionally preferred, but cilantro or green scallion can also be substituted and they work perfectly fine.   Thus, the crispy fried garlic is a must for this kind of khoa tom.  But if you don’t like garlic, I’m sorry to say, “You will miss the whole lots!”    

What you need:   2-4 servings
1 1/2 cups cooked white jasmine rice
6 cups chicken stock
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1 tsp. sugar (optional)
A pinch of salt to taste
6 oz. ground pork
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. ground white pepper
1/2 cup Chinese celery leaves, chopped
Crispy fried garlic
Fresh ginger, julienned
Hard-boiled egg -- optional
Condiments: fish sauce, sugar, vinegar and chili pepper flakes

1. add soy sauce and ground white pepper into the ground pork and mix well, set it aside.
2. add chicken stock in a medium pot and set it over medium high heat
3. as soon as the pot start to boil, add carrot and celery. Let it boil it boils for a couple minutes
3. start to scoop out the ground pork with a spoon about a bite size ball and add into the boiling pot. Let it cook for 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and sugar to taste.
4. add rice and let it continues to cook another 3 minutes or so.  Turn off the heat
5. add chopped Chinese celery leaves
6. serve khao tom moo with a teaspoon (or more) of crispy fried garlic and a teaspoon (or more) of fresh julienned ginger
7. seasoning with condiments as you prefer.  

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