Khao Tom is a popular rice soup dish that is usually served for breakfast in Thailand, which I recall seeing on "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" a long time ago. It's like rice porridge, cooked with pork or chicken, seasoned with fish sauce and served with egg and sliced bird's eye chillies. I remember back in college, I used to see my flatmate microwaving leftover rice with some hot water to make a bowl of porridge, which I thought was a good idea.
Khao Tom is a simple and easy dish to prepare, especially if you use leftover rice that you might happen to have in the fridge. Of course, you can make this from scratch with raw rice, just like how you would make normal rice, but with more liquid/stock. Anyway, the leftover rice is briefly cooked in chicken stock until softened, which I then ladled over a raw egg cracked into a bowl. Instead of cooking diced chicken in the stock before adding the rice, I decided to be a little bit fancy and make poached chicken drumsticks "Hainanese chicken rice style". I then roughly shredded the chicken and used that to garnish the rice soup along with some coriander, fried shallots and sliced chillies. Oh yes...I also made a scallion and ginger sauce to go with the chicken, which is so very tasty and takes only a minute to put together.
So, here is my version of Khao Tom, or Thai-style rice soup, which is delicious and comforting, and may be served for both breakfast or lunch.
Khao Tom with Poached Chicken Recipe
3 cups cooked rice
1 litre reduced-salt chicken stock
1 cup water
3-4 chicken drumsticks
Dash of fish sauce
3 eggs, room temperature
4 bird's eye chillies, sliced, mixed with 2 tbsp fish sauce and 2-3 drops lime juice
Ginger Scallion Sauce (combine in a bowl):
2 stalks scallion, chopped
2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
Bring the stock and water to a boil in a medium pot and add the drumsticks, making sure they are submerged. Bring to a boil again and let it simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Put the lid on and turn off the heat, and let it steep in the stock for 15 minutes. In the meantime, prepare a large bowl of iced water.
After the 15 minutes is up, remove the chicken from the stock and submerge them in the iced water for 5 minutes. Remove and drain any excess water. Debone the chicken and roughly tear into bite sized pieces. Place in a bowl and sprinkle over with ginger and scallion sauce if desired.
Bring the stock to a boil again and add the rice. Let it simmer for about 2-3 minutes until it reaches the desired texture (depending on how you like it). Season with pepper, a little fish sauce and a pinch of sugar to taste. In the meantime, prepare 3 serving bowls and crack an egg into each one.
Once the rice is done, and it should be boiling hot, ladle the rice soup over the eggs and let it sit for a minute or so to cook the eggs. Then, garnish with the shredded chicken, coriander leaves, fried shallots and serve with sliced chillies.
You can also serve the poached chicken with plain rice. Just rub some soy sauce and sesame oil all over the chicken for added flavour, and serve with Ginger Scallion sauce.