Thai black rice soup (khao tom)

At our home a favorite breakfast staple. Whereas the Chinese version, congee, is sort of a porridge, Thai rice soup is more soupy. 

I love to flavor with black pepper and ginger, which makes a rich, fragrant soup that will warm your stomach, and I love the grains super soft, somehow broken. So feel free to adjust when adding pepper or to reduce cooking time if you like a more intact texture. Refrigerate overnight, so the water can absorb all the flavors.

(btw, another favorite comfort food is black rice cabbage soup)


3 cups cooked black rice or riceberry 

200g king oyster mushrooms, cut into small cubes (or any mushroom you like)

1 firm block tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 carrot, cut into small cubes

50g ginger, cut into very fine julienne 

1 onion, cut into thin wedges

1 tbs black pepper, grind 

3 coriander root, roughly grind and cut into 1/2 inch long

10 clove garlic, roughly grind and chop

1/4 cup fried onion 

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbs soy sauce

a small bunch celery, cut into 1 inch long

1 and 1/2 litre water

1 tsp fried onion per serving dish

a few celery leaves per serving dish


First, cook the rice as described in let's cook black rice.

Then the soup:

Bring water to a boil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat

Add coriander root, garlic, black pepper, ginger, onion and salt.

Boil for a few more minutes.

Add the cooked rice, carrot, tofu and king oyster mushroom.

Let it cook at medium heat for another 5 minutes, then lower the heat to medium-low and add soy sauce. 

Maintain a gentle simmer for another 15-20 minutes, so the rice can absorb the water. 

Stir now and then.

Remove from heat.

Add fried onion and celery and stir well together. 

Let the soup cool down for 5 minutes.

Pour the soup in a bowl and garnish with a bit of fried onion and celery leaves on the top.