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kao tom goong, thai rice soup with shrimp

Thai Breakfast Rice Soup with Shrimp (Kao Tom Goong)


  • 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)


  • Fried garlic & oil (see instructions)
  • Green onion and/or cilantro
  • Chinese preserved cabbage (optional)
  • 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 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). 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!

To make fried garlic and garlic oil

  1. Chop a head of garlic into small pieces and fry them in neutral-flavoured oil. Use just enough oil to cover the garlic.
  2. Use very low heat to fry, keeping the bubbling gentle and stirring frequently, until golden and crispy.
  3. Strain the garlic from the oil and keep the two separate. You can keep these in the fridge and add them to anything for extra garlic flavour!

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Keywords: breakfast, porridge, rice soup, gluten free, congee