An everyday breakfast or light meal, kao tom is a lovely nourishing rice soup - ideal plain for those a little under the weather or with added flavours for a really delicious but simple dish.
I'm currently staying for a few days to help my papa while he recovers from a bad fall. It's a beautiful crisp autumn day and I made him a kao tom with chicken this morningto get the day off to a good and nurturing start.
Of course I had a bowl myself too - and included an egg in mine. The egg is optional and as it is put in the bowl right at the end before pouring over the broth it is just very lightly cooked. So it's up to you of course how you feel about eating your eggs 'rare'!
You need cooked rice for this, so do make that first - it'll be really annoying to start cooking and then realise you don't have it to hand ...
Stock cube (I used about 3/4 of a chicken knorr cube)
One peeled garlic clove, just flattened slightly
A little chicken (or pork or seafood or whatever you fancy) - I used about half a chicken breast chopped into small pieces
Cooked rice for two people
2-4 spring onions, chopped
Coriander (I couldn't get any fresh coriander here, so used 1/2 teaspoon of coriander from a jar, but just omit if you don't have any)
An egg per person (optional)
As usual, the dish comes together quickly, so get the ingredients out first.
Boil the kettle and then add enough water to a saucepan (the easiest way to measure is to pour into the bowls you'll be using then tip into the pan - and then add a bit more).
Add most of a stock cube and the garlic clove and bring to a simmer, then add the meat and/or fish and cook for around 3-4 minutes (timings will depend on what meat or fish you're cooking and how big the cubes of meat are).
As I wasn't using fresh coriander, I also added the jarred coriander to the pan while the chicken was cooking.
Add the cooked rice towards the end of the meat's cooking time and simmer a little longer. When I was shown how to make this soup, I was told to cook until the 'rice gets big', as it will swell a little more as it cooks in the broth.
After maybe a minute, add the spring onions and take off the heat, and add some coriander if using.
Crack an egg into each bowl for those that are having egg.
Spoon the chicken and rice into each bowl first and top with the hot broth.
Delicious served with garlic fried in its skin, or simple condiments of sugar and dried chillies to taste. Or just plain as it comes if you're ill or have an upset tummy!
The egg is lightly poached in the broth and adds beautiful golden swirls of yolk to the soup when broken.
I hope you like this recipe! Do let me know if you tried it ...