Johk (Thai Rice Porridge)

in Breakfast

Thai food does not really fit neatly into breakfast, lunch and dinner categories. Lunch and dinner tend to offer the same choice of various foods, while breakfast is either rice with yesterday's leftovers or johk (rice porridge), a bowl of ground rice well cooked with slithers of ginger in it (which you need not eat) and minced pork or chicken. This is served alongside 'horses urine eggs’ and various other things that you may add as a condiment. If you are staying in one of the Thailand Hotels then they will offer you a western style breakfast and also a Thai style breakfast.

Johk is the food least likely to upset the stomach. Indeed, it can have a calming effect and for this reason is a favourite last activity, or penultimate activity, for night owls, and is often served from 5:00 am in market areas, or for normal breakfast in many Bangkok hotels. The basic johk, without accompaniments, is the ideal food for a runny tummy.

Some people, particularly if they stay alone, keep a few packets of johk in the kitchen. these may be bought very cheaply in advance of an emergency in any supermarket/foodstore. They are instant; just pour into a mug, add boiling water and cover for a couple of minutes While johk is not on most menus-of places that have menus-your hotel or guest house restaurant may be sympathetic if you make your wish known: explain that you have tohng dern (walking stomach) or jep tohng (sick tummy) and that you want to eat some johk .

For some reason this is a difficult word for many farangs to say, it'scloser to the pronunciation word to joke, but rhymes closer with clock. You may be surprised at how people respond and if they have no johk on the premises, they might be able to send somebody somewhere to find some.


You can season yourjohk with condiments. Salt and pepper shakers are available for Westerners at most restaurants. Normally on any table, you will find nampla (fish sauce) and prik-i-nu (small red chillies) or both mixed together. You rnight be advised to spoon out the liquid and leave behind the chillies which, although small are the hottest available. Depending on the food being served, you might be provided with various natn jint (sauces you dip the food in) or the ingredients to make up your own.

 

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Johk (Thai Rice Porridge)

This article was published on 2013/04/03