I had disappeared for a while and am about to disappear again. You will see some posts while I’m on the road, in Tokyo and Bangkok, but I won’t be fully back in blogging action until next month.
I was sick last week and all I want to eat was hearty food but the definition of my hearty food would sound weird to you. I was brought up in Bangkok, OK, and I’m going to blog about my version of chicken soup, except that there is no chicken and the soup is rice-based.
It’s rice porridge called “Kkao Tom Kreuang”, which means “boiled rice with meat”. It is assumed to include your choice of meat and some accompaniments in the bowl of porridge. It’s different than “Khao Tom Gub” or “Khao Tom Gui”, the plain boiled rice with several different side dishes.
The choices of meat in Khao Tom Kreuang would be cooked ground pork, making it Khao Tom Moo, which was what was most often served in the hospital room at my school, or with cooked sliced up or shredded chicken, or Khao Tom Gai, or fried fish, which is the most popular among the street stands in Thailand, called Khao Tom Pla, or with shrimp, my personal favorite, as Khao Tom Goong.
To make this is so easy, you cook the rice and the meat separately then put them together and add chopped cilantro, sliced scallion and ground white pepper. No, I’m not done yet. This is where the weirdness begins: fired garlic, preserved cabbage and fish sauce need to be added too. Sounds yummy already, right? My husband is half-way out of the door at this point too.
If you haven’t been discouraged enough to stop reading then you can get ALL these ingredients and start enjoying it.
White rice, I prefer long grain jasmine rice, 1/4 cup (BTW if you need extra fiber, use rolled or steal cut oats but double the volume to 1/2 cup)
Raw shrimp 1/2 − 3/4 cup
Coarsely chopped cilantro 2-3 tablespoons
Sliced scallion 1 tablespoon
Fried garlic 1 tablespoon (I make this in a big batch and store it in my pantry, ready to be used anytime)
Preserved cabbage 2 tablespoon
Ground white pepper 1 teaspoon
Fish sauce 2 tablespoons
1) Boil the rice: put rice and 4-5 cups of water in the big pot and cook it on high for at least 20 minutes, until the rice grains are expanded (meaning well past beyond cooked) and the soup is sticky and white
2) Cook the shrimp: while the rice is cooked, you can boil another pot of water, just enough to cover the shrimps, let it bubble, add shrimps and turn off the stove right away. Let the shrimp cook in the hot water. This way you don’t overcook them.
3) Put them together: just mix all of the ingredients together and put your favorite TV show on. You don’t even need to get out of your pajamas to eat this.