Rice Soup with Pork (Kao Tome)

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 Susan Vu for Cooking Channel
Prep: 15 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 1 hr 45 min
YIELD: 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
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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.

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.



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