Chicken corn soup (click here) from my childhood has inspired many reinterpretations influenced by places I have lived over the years and here is yet another inspired by my life in Thailand.

Making an early morning warming rice based porridge is a ritual found across t Asia as well as in Asian communities here in the US!

I find myself returning again and again to the Asian practice of using rice as a foundation for soups in the same way we use potatoes in the west. The advantage in using rice is that it is flavor neutral, a perfect medium for flavor, a smooth texture, and a hearty viscosity.

Taking that idea a step further, slowly simmering 1 cup unwashed Short grain rice in 2 ½ cups stock will transform the rice into a thick translucent paste that is ideal for thickening stocks, soups, stews and sauces.  I  make a batch, store it in small containers and freeze it for use on demand.

Stock is of course the flavor base for so many applications, and making a Thai stock will requires finding and including some perhaps unfamiliar ingredients such as lemongrass, ginger root, coriander roots, galangal, Thai bird’s eye, chilies etc. I have found Whole foods is a good source if other options fail, but do not be be discouraged if you can’t find some of these ingredients. Just improvise, keeping in mind the more assertive the flavor the better.

Thai inspired Sweet Corn Soup aka Jok

3 qourts of of strained Thai flavored stock prepaired in advance, strain, and set aside or refrigerated.

If you would like to add chicken to this poridge, poach 2 chicken breasts in advance.

Rice for thickening the soup

  • r2 1/2 cups stock 
  • 1 cup precooked short grain rice
    Heat the stock in a sauce pan and add the precook rice, stir until simmering. Stir continuously until the rice has been completely broken down and translucent. Then puree using a hand held immersion blender until completely smooth and creamy, and set aside to use later.
  • Preparing the Soup
    21/2 quarts Thai flavored stock
  • 4 fresh sweet corn on the cob, kernels cut from the cob, include cob scrapings
  • 3 young celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1/2 inch knob ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced and diced
  • 1 or 2 small Thai red bird’s ye chilies, seeds removed and finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 6 Thai basil leaves sliced lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • sea salt or soy sauce to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly sliced chives
    If you are adding chicken to this soup, use prepared poach chicken breasts.

Pour the Thai stock into a stock pot set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the cut corn and cob scrapings, celery, ginger root, and chilies and and simmer for 12 minutes. Add the fish sauce, oyster sauce and bring back to a simmer.

Add some of the pureed rice mixture and stir until simmering. Adjust the consistency by string in more rice mixture sa needed.

Add he Thai basil leaves and simmer while stirring until you are ready to serve.
Taste and add salt or soy sauce to taste

If you are using poached chicken breast pull it into bite size strands and place in individual soup bowls before adding the soup.

Stir the lime juice into soup and ladle it in to individual soup bowls. scatter fresh chives over the surface and serve promptly.

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