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Cambodian Pork Rice Soup | Panning The Globe

Cambodian Pork Rice Soup Recipe

  • Author: Lisa
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x


A hearty comforting flavorful soup made with ground pork, rice and festive accompaniments.


  • Marinate the pork
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Make the Broth
  • 7 cups water
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, trimmed, 1 or 2 tough outer layers removed, smashed flat with a meat pounder or rolled with a heavy rolling pin
  • 1-inch chunk of fresh ginger root, peeled and smashed flat
  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp or 4 flat anchovies (packed in oil) finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup jasmine rice, rinsed several times in cold water and drained
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil or other vegetable oil
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped (1/4 cup)
  • Accompaniments
  • 1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
  • 1 bird chile, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 3-4 shallots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and thinly sliced crosswise, about 1 cup
  • 2 cups bean sprouts or thinly sliced napa cabbage
  • 15-20 Thai basil leaves, slivered (or substitute regular or sweet basil)
  • 1 bunch of scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper


  1. In a small bowl stir the pork with fish sauce and sugar. Set aside.
  2. Place water, ginger, lemongrass, salt and dried shrimp (if using) in a large heavy pot and bring to a boil. Boil steadily for 5 minutes. Add rinsed rice to the pot. When it returns to a boil, lower heat and simmer gently, uncovered, until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. While the rice is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring constantly, until tender and golden, about 3 minutes, Regulate the heat so they don't burn. Transfer shallots to a condiment bowl.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the same skillet and toss in the garlic and anchovies (if using) Stir-fry for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the pork and cook, stirring and breaking up any lumps, until the pork is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add the pork stir-fry to the soup pot, once the rice has finished cooking. Stir through. Season with salt, to taste.
  5. Mix the bird chile with 1/4 cup fish sauce in a small condiment bowl. Set aside.
  6. Just before serving, gently reheat the soup. Divide the shredded cabbage or sprouts among the bowls. Add a pinch of shredded basil and a pinch of scallions to each bowl. Ladle the soup on top. Add a bit of each topping and a generous grinding of black pepper to each bowl. Serve with a lime wedges and prik nam pla on the side. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Cambodian
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Soup