Today I am going to show you the menu for my breakfast this morning. To be honest, I don’t normally eat Thai food for breakfast. I usually have a traditional Western breakfast of cereals or fried egg and bacon. This kind of breakfast is actually becoming more common among Thai people in Bangkok. But, most Thai people will just have the leftovers from their meal the night before. Personally, I prefer not to start my day with something hot and spicy. For people who prefer something lighter and plainer for breakfast, then a bowl of johk is a good choice. This is a rice congee which usually has minced pork and an egg. When I am away on one of my road trips around Thailand, I often buy johk at a food stall by the side of the road for breakfast. It is very cheap and a good way to start the morning. This bowl was 15 baht and then an extra 5 baht for the optional egg.
This dish is made with broken rice which is then cooked for longer than normal. Broken rice is cheaper to buy. You can buy normal rice if you like and break it yourself! This is usually achieved by stirring it often while it is being cooked. But that is a lot of effort. It is cheaper and easier to buy broken rice. You boil the rice with a pinch of salt and some pandanus leaves. You need to stir often unlike when cooking normal rice. It is then seasoned with soy sauce, pepper, spring onion and coriander. The dish I had this morning contained minced pork shaped into small balls. But, it could also have sliced kidney, liver, chicken or even fish. It is up to you. Before serving they sprinkle shredded ginger on top. As I am not a fan of so much ginger, I usually say “mai dtong sai khing“. However, for authenticity of the picture, I had to sprinkle it on top today. Like I said, an egg is an extra 5 baht. This is partially cooked already but is basically still raw. They crack it into the thick rice soup just before serving and the heat from the rice will complete the cooking process for you.
Another common snack for breakfast is pa thong ko which is basically deep-fried dough. A kind of Chinese version of donuts, though the taste is plainer and it can be very oily. It is best to buy these freshly cooked while they are still crispy. Also check the condition of the oil used for cooking. If it is very black then that is a sign it has been used too often. There are several versions though the one pictured above is considered the original. It starts as long strips of dough that is cut into shorter lengths. Two pieces, of different lengths, are stuck together with water before being dropped into the hot oil. Thai people refer to two lovers being inseparable as like “pa thong ko”. You can either eat this with your coffee or cut it up into pieces and stir it into your “johk” which is what I did this morning. You can also have it with a green custard or drink together with soy bean milk. But, that is mainly the evening version which I will talk about another day.
In Thai: โจ้ก (johk) ปลาท่องโก๋ (pa thong ko)