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Authentic Khao Piak Khao Gai – Lao Rice Porridge

Learn how to make Lao rice porridge called khao piak khao and how to make sure the broth is a simple, yet satisfying dish.

All About Khao Piak Khao Gai (Lao Rice Porridge)

Khao Piak Khao Gai is a jasmine rice porridge that is popular in Thailand and Laos. It is traditionally served for breakfast or as an appetizer. 

This soup is often made as comfort food and is similar to America’s chicken noodle soup. Getting the rice to the correct consistency is the key to this deliciously hearty dish.

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All About Khao Piak Khao – Rice Congee

Laos rice porridge (also known as Thai rice porridge) is the ultimate comfort food. At the heart of it, Khao Piak Khao is an ultra-simple dish. It’s often seen in various forms around other Southeast Asian countries. What’s different about the Lao and Thai version is that the broth is rich in flavor due to the simmering of ginger, smokiness of the charred onions, lemongrass, and kaffir leaves. The way that the broth is made for the rice to simmer in is what makes this version over the top compared to its relatives from other parts of the continent.

The porridge is normally served with lots of toppings, like fried shallots (which is absolutely delicious). 

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What does Khao Piak Khao taste like?

Khao Piak Khao is a soupy porridge made of a rich broth with silky rice. It’s served with various toppings like fried shallots, green onions, and other fresh vegetables. The broth has a smokey, yet deep delicious flavor and richness.

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Other Names for Lao Rice Porridge

Due to translation, Lao and Thai rice porridge has many names. You’ll often see recipes refer to it as:

  • Lao congee
  • Thai congee
  • Lao rice porridge
  • Thai rice porridge
  • khao piak khao
  • khao piak gai
  • khao piak kai
  • khao piak

Khao piak khao can often be used to describe two types of dishes with the same broth – one with noodles and one with rice. Khao piak sen is a noodle soup made with tapioca and rice flour. Khao piak is generally what’s used to refer to the rice version. Khao piak gai also refers to generally the rice version. However, khao piak and Khao Piak Khao Gai can be used interchangeably to refer to either.

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Khao means rice, piak means wet, gai means chicken, and sen means noodles.

Lao rice porridge should be made with a 1:8 ratio.

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What You Need at Your Asian Grocer

Fresh Herbs

In Vietnamese dishes, fresh herbs are always recommended to be topped in a dish, generally. I would recommend grabbing green onion, Vietnamese mint, Thai Basil, birds eye chilis, bean sprouts and lime as accompaniments to this dish, while not required.

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Tips and Tricks Before Making Khao Piak Khao

Give It Time

This recipe does take time to make because of the time to make the foundation of the soup – the chicken broth.

Stir Often

When adding rice, make sure that you stir often so that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

Don’t Rinse the Rice Too Much

Rinsing the rice prior to cooking allows you to get rid of impurities, but you want to keep the starch on the rice as much as possible to allow a smooth and creamy consistency.

Rice to Stock Ratio

I would recommend a 1:8 ratio for the rice and stock.

How to Make Authentic Lao Rice Porridge – Khao Piak Khao

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 6 cilantro stems, leaves removed
  • 1 onion, charred
  • 6 slices of ginger medallions
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 lemongrass heads, smashed
  • 4 chicken bullion
  • 4 quarts of water
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of Jasmine rice

Garnishes

  • cilantro, chopped
  • green onion, chopped
  • fried shallots, to taste
  • soy sauce, to taste
  • fish sauce, to taste
  • lime, wedged to taste
  • oiled pepper, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Chicken Broth Preparation

  1. Add the water to a pot and bring it to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the paper layer of the onion, and then charr the onion on the stove. Make sure you stay watching it so it doesn’t catch fire.
  3. Once the water boils, add the cilantro stems, onion, sliced ginger medallions, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, chicken bullion, chicken thighs, and chicken breasts into the boiling water.
  4. Lower it to medium-high heat. 
  5. After 30 minutes, remove the chicken from the broth, place it in a bowl, and allow it to cool in the refrigerator so you can easily shred it without burning your hands (30 minutes).
  6. Shred the chicken by hand and set aside.
  7. Place the rice into the pot, partially cover with a lid. Stir occasionally every 5 minutes, which will allow the rice to break down and not stick at the bottom.
  8. If the rice breaks down during cooking to quickly, add another cup of water as needed. 
  9. Cook for about 45 minutes until the desired consistency is reached.
  10. Place the porridge into the bowl. Top the bowl with the shredded chicken and other garnishes.

Preserving the Khao Piak Khao Broth

Khao piak gai keeps well in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Add more chicken stock or water when reheating because the porridge will become thicker each time it cools. 

The khao piak chicken broth can be portioned into storage containers or freezer bags after cooling. If you are storing them in a freezer bag, you can save space by laying it flat with the added benefit of being able to evenly reheat the broth later at a quicker rate.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Khao Piak

What is the difference between congee and porridge?

Congee and porridge refer to the same dish. Congee and porridge are made by simmering a small amount of rice in water or broth for several hours until the soup is creamy and silky. Various regions in Southeast Asia have their own variations on how the soup broth is prepared as well as what the dish is topped with.

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Can you freeze porridge or congee?

Porridge and congee can be frozen for up to 2 months and then reheated in a microwave or via stovetop.

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What should the consistency of khao piak khao gai be?

The consistency of porridge can vary depending on the amount of chicken stock that is added. Personal tastes also vary for how vicious the soup should be.

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What type of rice should be used for khao piak khao gai?

Starchy rice like jasmine rice or japonica rice should be used because it will give your porridge a starchy, silky, and smooth texture.

Basmati rice doesn’t gel like porridge needs it to, so it is often not recommended for this recipe.

Summary About Khao Piak Khao – Lao Rice Porridge Recipe

Khao piak khao gai should definitely be added to your list of recipes to try, especially on dreary days. It’s a flavorful dish that is sure to give you a pick me up on the worst of days, as well as a cheery bowl on the best of days.

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Khao piak Khao asian rice porridge

Khao piak Khao asian rice porridge

khao piak khao gai - chicken rice porridge 063

Authentic Lao Porridge - Khao Piak Khao Gai

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Learn how to make this comforting Lao chicken noodle soup called khao piak khao. It is a flavorful, aromatic porridge that is absolutely wonderful!

Ingredients

Soup Stock

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 6 cilantro stems, leaves removed
  • 1 onion, charred
  • 6 slices of ginger medallions
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 lemongrass heads, smashed
  • 4 chicken bullion
  • 4 quarts of water
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

Garnishes

  • cilantro, chopped
  • green onion, chopped
  • fried shallots, to taste
  • soy sauce, to taste
  • fish sauce, to taste
  • lime, wedged to taste
  • oiled pepper, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Add the water to a pot and bring it to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the paper layer of the onion, and then charr the onion on the stove. Make sure you stay watching it so it doesn't catch fire.
  3. Once the water boils, add the cilantro stems, onion, sliced ginger medallions, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, chicken bullion, chicken thighs, and chicken breasts into the boiling water.
  4. Lower it to medium-high heat. 
  5. After 30 minutes, remove the chicken from the broth, place it in a bowl, and allow it to cool in the refrigerator so you can easily shred it without burning your hands (30 minutes).
  6. Shred the chicken by hand and set aside.
  7. Place the rice into the pot, partially cover with a lid. Stir occasionally every 5 minutes, which will allow the rice to break down and not stick at the bottom.
  8. If the rice breaks down during cooking to quickly, add another cup of water as needed. 
  9. Cook for about 45 minutes until the desired consistency is reached.
  10. Place the porridge into the bowl. Top the bowl with the shredded chicken and other garnishes.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 318Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 595mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 32g

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