Delicious Thai Congee Recipe: Warms Your Soul

Friends, I have a recipe that will leave your taste buds begging for more. Have you ever had Thai Congee or Kao Tom? If not, then you are missing out on one of the most delicious and savory rice soups ever invented!

This soup is a popular breakfast dish in Thailand and is known for its warm and comforting qualities. It is the perfect breakfast for any day – whether it’s a chilly winter morning or a lazy Sunday brunch.

In case you’re wondering what congee is, it is a savory rice porridge that is commonly served in many Asian countries such as China, Japan, and Thailand. It is typically made from long-grain rice, which is cooked with an abundant amount of water until it becomes thick and creamy.

This vegetarian recipe that I will be sharing with you today is a Thai version of the dish called Kao Tome, which uses short-grain Jasmine rice instead of long-grain. This version excludes chicken, pork, or shrimp kao tom to keep it vegetarian-friendly.

Whether you’re vegan or not, this recipe will hit all the right notes on your palate. So come along with me and let me take you on a journey to indulgence with this delicious Thai congee recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Thai Congee (Kao Tome) Vegetarian
Thai Congee (Kao Tome) Vegetarian

Ah, love. What a beautiful feeling. And when you combine it with food, it creates an exquisite harmony that can only be experienced by the adventurous foodies. And if you are one of those brave souls with a craving for new tastes, then Thai Congee (Kao Tome) is the ideal choice for you.

Let me tell you why this vegetarian recipe deserves all your love and attention. First of all, Congee Kao Tome is a traditional Thai rice porridge that has been cherished by the locals for generations. It’s not only a cultural staple but also a popular breakfast dish in Thailand. So, if you are looking for something authentic and exotic to spice up your mornings, Congee Kao Tome is the way to go.

Moreover, this savory rice soup is incredibly versatile and customizable. You can make it with different variations like shrimp kao tom, chicken congee kao tome or vegan thai congee kao tome; all equally delicious in their own distinct ways. All you need is some long-grain or short-grain jasmine rice and a few basic ingredients to create an authentic Thai flavor that’ll leave your taste buds dancing with delight.

Not only that, this simple yet unique recipe is also easy to make at home with minimal effort. With just four cups of water and one cup of rice, you can whip up a hearty meal that’ll keep you full of energy throughout the day. Plus, Congee Kao Tome is also known for its health benefits as it’s made from simple and nutritious ingredients.

In summary, the Congee Kao Tome recipe checks all the boxes when it comes to flavor, versatility, simplicity and health benefits – all culminating in one delicious Thai dish that’s definitely worth trying out. Once you’ve tasted it yourself, I’m confident that you’ll agree with me that – yes indeed – this Thai delicacy deserves every ounce of love and appreciation that we can give!

Ingredient List

 A warm bowl of Thai Congee is the perfect comfort food on a chilly day.
A warm bowl of Thai Congee is the perfect comfort food on a chilly day.

Rice and Water

  • 1 Cup of long-grain rice (jasmine rice)
  • 6 Cups of water

Base Flavors

  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • A small piece of Ginger, Minced
  • 2 Shallots, Chopped


  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 3 Cloves
  • 3 Star Anise


  • 1 Tsp of Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp of Fish Sauce (for vegan option, use soy sauce)


  • Lime Wedges
  • Freshly-chopped Cilantro Leaves
  • Freshly-chopped Green Onions

Note: You could add any other vegetables or your protein preference such as mushrooms, tofu or seitan.

The Recipe How-To

 This dish is a delicious way to incorporate more plant-based protein into your diet.
This dish is a delicious way to incorporate more plant-based protein into your diet.

Let me walk you through the steps to make this delicious Thai congee recipe.


  • 1 cup long-grain rice or 1 1/2 cups short-grain rice
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cups veggie or chicken stock
  • Fish sauce or soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Toppings: sliced ginger, green onions, cilantro, fried garlic, sliced chili; as desired


  1. Rinse the rice thoroughly and soak it for at least an hour.
  2. In a medium pot, add water and rice. Let it simmer over low-medium heat for 30-35 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally to avoid the rice sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Add the stock and season with fish or soy sauce according to taste. Continue cooking until everything is blended well and has turned into a soup consistency.
  4. Top with your desired toppings such as sliced ginger, green onions, cilantro, fried garlic, sliced chili.
  5. Serve hot and enjoy your hearty bowl of Thai congee.

You can also make it spicy by adding some chili flakes or chili oil for an extra kick!

Substitutions and Variations

 The combination of fragrant herbs and spices in this recipe will tantalize your taste buds.
The combination of fragrant herbs and spices in this recipe will tantalize your taste buds.

Now, let’s talk about the fun part – making this recipe your own! Just because this recipe calls for certain ingredients doesn’t mean you can’t switch it up a bit. Here are some substitutions and variations to try:

– Rice: This recipe calls for long-grain Thai rice, but you can use short-grain rice or even brown rice if you prefer. Brown rice will give your congee a nuttier flavor and a slightly different texture.

– Protein: Instead of chicken or shrimp, you can use thinly sliced beef, ground pork, or even tofu to add protein to your soup. If you’re looking for a vegan version, simply leave out the meat and add more veggies.

– Veggies: Feel free to get creative with the vegetables in your soup! You can add thinly sliced mushrooms or bell peppers, chopped bok choy or spinach, or even grated carrots. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

– Seasonings: To switch up the flavor profile of your congee, play around with seasonings like ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and chili flakes. You can also try adding a splash of soy sauce or fish sauce for some savory umami flavor.

– Toppings: The topping options for congee are endless! Try adding chopped green onions, cilantro leaves, sliced chili peppers, fried garlic or shallots, sesame oil or seeds, or crispy fried wonton strips.

Remember that cooking is all about experimentation and making things to fit your tastes. So don’t be afraid to try something new and make this recipe your own!

Serving and Pairing

 Don't let the simple ingredients fool you, the flavors in this dish are complex and rich.
Don’t let the simple ingredients fool you, the flavors in this dish are complex and rich.

Now that you have learned how to make this delicious Thai congee, you may be wondering how best to serve it. This comforting rice soup makes for a perfect breakfast dish and is best enjoyed piping hot. However, it can also be enjoyed as a light lunch or dinner.

There are many different ways to pair your congee, depending on your preferences. One traditional way is to serve it with crispy Chinese doughnuts, chopped green onions, and soy sauce on the side. Another popular option in Thailand is to top the congee with ground pork and peanuts or dried shrimp. For a vegan version, try using crispy fried tofu as a topping.

This delicious soup pairs well with several dishes, including stir-fry vegetables or savory rice cakes. You can also pair it with a simple salad of fresh greens or roasted vegetables to add some texture and color to your meal.

When serving Thai congee, it is recommended that you use small bowls or even cups as it is traditionally served in smaller portions. Drizzle some soy sauce on top and sprinkle with chopped green onions before serving.

Overall, Thai congee is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in many different ways according to individual preferences. Whether you like it simple or enjoy adding toppings, this dish will provide you with warmth and comfort on any day!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Vegan never tasted so good! This Thai Congee is hearty, flavorful, and satisfying.
Vegan never tasted so good! This Thai Congee is hearty, flavorful, and satisfying.

Folks, let me tell you: this Thai Congee is one of those meals that tastes even better the next day. So, if you’re smart (and I know you are), you’ll make a double batch and store it in the fridge for an easy and delicious meal later in the week.

To make-ahead, simply cook the congee as directed and let it cool before transferring to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to three days or freeze for up to three months. When ready to eat, reheat on the stove over medium-low heat with some added water or stock.

Now, when it comes to reheating, there are a few things to keep in mind. First off, add more water or stock as needed to bring the congee back to its original consistency. Also, be sure to stir frequently to prevent sticking and burning.

And finally, if you’re feeling fancy, you can dress up your reheated congee with some fresh herbs, chopped peanuts or fried shallots. It’ll taste like a whole new dish! Trust me on this one – leftovers have never tasted so good.

Tips for Perfect Results

 This recipe is a healthier, plant-based version of a classic Thai breakfast dish.
This recipe is a healthier, plant-based version of a classic Thai breakfast dish.

Now that you know how to cook a delicious Thai Congee, let me share with you some tips to ensure you get perfect results every time.

1. Use good quality rice

The secret to a great congee starts with the right type of rice. Look for long-grain or short-grain jasmine rice for an authentic Thai taste. Avoid using regular white rice, as it can become too mushy.

2. Rinse the Rice

Before cooking the rice, rinse it thoroughly under running water until the water runs clear. This will remove any excess starch and dirt from the grains.

3. Soak the Rice Overnight

If you have time, soak the rice in water for at least 6 hours or overnight. This will help the rice to absorb more water and cook faster.

4. Use Vegetable Stock or Broth

For a vegetarian version of this recipe, use vegetable broth instead of chicken or pork broth. It adds a depth of flavor without using any animal products.

5. Add Vegetables

You can add any vegetables to your congee recipe to enhance its nutritional value and flavor. Chopped scallions, carrots, mushrooms, and cilantro are all excellent choices.

6. Adjust Seasonings Slowly

When adding seasonings such as soy sauce or fish sauce, start with a small amount and adjust slowly to your preferences. Adding too much of these seasonings can quickly overpower the dish.

7. Experiment With Toppings

Toppings are an essential part of this dish and provide texture and flavor contrasts to the smooth soup. Experiment with different toppings such as crispy garlic, roasted peanuts, fried shallots or chopped herbs.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to impress your guests with your delicious Thai Congee skills. Enjoy experimenting with variations on this traditional dish!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Thai Congee (Kao Tome) Vegetarian Recipe is one of the most popular breakfast dishes in Thailand. It is a savory rice soup made with long-grain or short-grain rice and cooked in stock water with different types of protein such as chicken, pork, shrimp, or vegetarian options.

In this recipe, we have used jasmine rice to make a delicious Thai version of congee suitable for vegetarians. The dish is easy to make, and the ingredient list is simple and accessible.

With this recipe, you will experience an explosion of flavors in every spoonful. It’s perfect if you want a hearty breakfast that will give you energy to start your day. Plus, it’s a healthy alternative to traditional breakfast options like cereal or pancakes.

So, what are you waiting for? Try this recipe today and enjoy the taste of Thailand in your home! Whether you’re a meat-eater or not, this vegetarian version of Thai Congee (Kao Tome) is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Thai Congee (Kao Tome) Vegetarian

Thai Congee (Kao Tome) Vegetarian Recipe

Congee, called jook in China where it originated, spread throughout Southeast Asia. This Thai version is adapted from, "James McNair Cooks Southeast Asian." It's used as a breakfast dish or as comfort food. This recipe consists of two parts, a simple rice porrige made of rice (any kind white or brown) cooked in water or vegetarian chicken broth. It's served with your choice of toppings and condiments. All of the toppings listed here are easy to make, most with recipes from this site; however some of the pickled items need to be made in advance. It's advisable to select your toppings before getting started. Generally 2 or 3 toppings are used, along with a condiment(s). Here are a couple of popular vegetarian combinations served at my favorite Thai restaurant: Steamed tofu with salted black soy beans; or diced sweet potato,taro and pumpkin. Among the favorite condiments, pickled ginger, preserved (pickled)vegetables, pickled garlic, fried shallots and cilantro are old standbys. OTHER TOPPING & CONDIMENT CHOICES ARE: Asian omelet, sliced, recipe#173413/ fried shallots, recipe #165849/ pickled garlic, recipe# 30341/ pickled ginger, recipe# 29707/ Thai crystal, recipe # 159548/ Indonesian soy sauce (kecap manis)/ Sambal Ulek/ Chinese pickled vegetables, recipes #33796 or #47496/ hard cooked eggs, sliced/ chopped roasted peanuts/ sliced green onions/minced fresh ginger/ fresh cilantro/fresh Asian basil leaves.
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Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Calories 84.4 kcal



  • 1/2 cup long-grain rice or 1/2 cup short-grain rice
  • 5 cups low-fat chicken broth or 5 cups water


  • Combine ingredients for the congee in a saucepan, bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours.
  • Or use leftover rice with about twice as much liquid as rice.
  • Simmer until the porridge has a smooth consistence.
  • Pour into soup bowls.
  • Top with your choice of toppings and condiments.
  • If serving a large group, a larger choice than 2 or 3 toppings might be served.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 23gCalories: 84.4kcalCarbohydrates: 18.5gProtein: 1.6gFat: 0.1gSodium: 1.2mgFiber: 0.3g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Asian, Easy, Thai, Vegetable
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