• Brown rice larb congee (Sharyn Cairns)Source: Sharyn Cairns

A play on the traditional khao tom gung (rice congee), Thailand's beloved king of breakfasts. Instead of white rice, we've used brown, which does not break down completely, resulting in a satisfying congee with grunt.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (28 votes)


  • 150 g (¾ cup) brown rice
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, halved and bruised
  • 1 spring onion, halved
  • 1 coriander sprig, root and stalks attached, leaves reserved to garnish
  • 3 cm piece ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1.75 litres water
  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 150 g fatty minced pork
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp chilli sauce


To garnish

  • 2 soft-boiled eggs, halved
  • micro mixed herbs
  • roasted peanuts, finely chopped
  • chilli powder
  • 1 lime, halved

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place the rice, lemongrass, spring onion, coriander root, ginger and water in small saucepan over medium-high heat, season with salt and bring to the boil, uncovered. Once boiled, reduce to a rolling simmer and cook, covered with a lid ajar, for about 45 minutes or until the rice is very tender and swollen and most of the water has been absorbed – you’re after a risotto consistency.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small frying pan over high heat. Add the pork and stir-fry, breaking up the lumps. Continue cooking until the water has evaporated and the pork is nicely golden and crispy (about 6 minutes). Add the fish sauce, soy sauce and chilli sauce and stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Spoon the congee into shallow serving bowls (discarding the aromatics). Scatter over the crispy pork and arrange the garnishes on top, including the lime half.


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Peta Gray. Creative concept by Lou Fay.