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a bowl of rice soup with shrimp

Thai Breakfast Rice Soup with Shrimp (Khao Tom Goong)

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  • Author: Pailin Chongchitnant
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


A classic Thai breakfast is khao tom, or rice soup. Comforting and satisfying, it's the perfect way to start the day. Once components are prepped in advance, the soup comes together in just a few minutes. This version uses shrimp, but chicken can be used instead.


  • 3 cups pork stock or chicken stock, unsalted (homemade is best, here's a recipe!)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ tsp white peppercorns
  • 6 cilantro stems or 2 cilantro roots
  • ~150g shrimp, cut into small chunks, plus a few extra whole ones for garnish if you so desire
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • ½ Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 cups cooked jasmine rice (this amount is flexible depending on whether you like thick or brothy soup)

Optional Condiments

  • Fried garlic & garlic oil
  • Green onion and/or cilantro, chopped
  • Chinese preserved cabbage (tang chai)
  • Extra ground white pepper if needed

Ingredients and Kitchen Tools I Use


  1. Pound white peppercorns until fine, then add garlic and cilantro stem/roots and pound until fine. Add half of this paste to your small pieces of shrimp and mix well. 
  2. Saute the small pieces of shrimp in a pan with a little bit of oil just until it's cooked through. Deglaze the pan with some stock as needed and scrape any bits of herb stuck to the bottom. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. If using whole garnish shrimp, sear the whole shrimp over medium high heat until browned and cooked through, set aside. 
  4. Bring the stock to a boil in a pot, add the other half of the herb paste and simmer for one minute.
  5. Season with fish sauce and soy sauce, then taste and adjust seasoning.
  6. When ready to serve, bring the broth to a boil over high heat then add the rice and the shrimp. Bring the soup back to a simmer, and immediately turn off the heat (if you let this simmer for a long time the rice will swell up and absorb too much stock).
  7. Serve immediately, if you let this sit, the rice will continue to absorb liquid. Ladle into a bowl, and top with all the condiments as desired. Enjoy!

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