Thai herbs like cilantro, kaffir leaves, scallions and lemongrass add brightness and freshness to this delicate pork and rice soup. A garnish of lime wedges and crispy shallots grace the bowl to finish.
Recipe courtesy of Susan Vu
Rice Soup with Pork (Kao Tome)
2 hr
15 min
1 hr 45 min
6 to 8 servings
2 hr
15 min
1 hr 45 min
6 to 8 servings


  • One 3 1/2-inch piece galangal
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, green tops discarded, halved and smashed
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 6 scallions
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, such as Lee Kum Kee
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3 Thai bird chiles, minced
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, very thinly sliced
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and stems, roughly chopped
  • Optional accompaniments: Lime wedges and store-bought crispy shallots


Peel and thinly slice 2 inches of the galangal, reserving the remaining 1 1/2 inches for the pork mixture. Wrap the sliced galangal and lemongrass in a piece of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine. Combine the chicken stock, 4 cups water and the cheesecloth packet in a deep straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the cooked rice and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes thick and slightly creamy.

While the rice is cooking, make the pork mixture. Peel and finely grate the remaining 1 1/2 inches of galangal and thinly slice 4 of the scallions. Combine the galangal, sliced scallions, pork, fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, chiles and kaffir lime leaves in a bowl. Using your hands, mix everything together until just combined. Set aside.

Remove the cheesecloth packet from the soup and discard. Using a tablespoon as a measurement, drop rounds of the pork mixture into the simmering soup. Simmer the meatballs for 2 minutes.

Crack the eggs into small individual bowls. Using the back of a ladle, make 6 small wells in the soup and slide 1 egg into each well. Cover with a lid and gently simmer the eggs until the whites are just set and the yolks are still runny, for 4 to 6 minutes.

To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls, making sure each bowl gets 1 poached egg. Slice the remaining 2 scallions and top each bowl with scallions and cilantro. The soup can be served with either or both of the optional accompaniments.

Cook's Note

Galangal can be found at Asian markets; however, you may substitute an equal amount of fresh ginger if you cannot find it fresh.

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