Taste of the Week: Congee
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By Primal Bangkok

Sawasdee torn chao (good morning) people!

After three entries of breakfast-friendly items, this week’s taste of the week still focuses on a morning treat.

No joke!

Well, actually there’s joke.

“Joke” is Thai for congee, the seasoned porridge made from rice.

We like to eat this warm, soupy and easy to swallow dish for its comforting quality and the fact that it’s fulfilling but doesn’t leave you feeling heavy. That makes it perfect for either breakfast or dinner.

Normally you’ll find “joke moo” (pork congee) which features minced pork in form of balls but there sometimes are varieties like chicken and beef. Pork offals can be added upon request.

There are plenty of add-ons to joke. Raw or partially cooked egg is the most common. (Say “joke moo sai kai” to order!) Most of the time, you can also switch to a century egg (Chinese-style preserved egg). If you remember patonggo (deep-fried dough strips we wrote about last two months), it makes a good combination with joke as well. Some might prefer chopped ginger and spring onions while the other might like some more kick from pepper.

Congee is a masterpiece that reflects hard work. It’s the extensive hours of boiling and simmering that yield the pleasurable melting texture.

Hot spots

Joke Samyan

This long-standing legend still causes a queue every single day it’s open. And you’ll not be surprised once you taste the well-balanced bowl of hot congee. Morning service runs between 5-9am (We recommend getting there before 8am.) and evening hours between 3-9pm.

245 Chula Soi 11, Rama 4 Rd. Tel. 085-846-1110, 02-216-4809

Getting there: Either take a twenty-minute walk through Chula Soi 9 or hire a cab to the place.

Joke Prince

Taking its name from an old cinema it used to reside in, this shop is located in a narrow alley on Charoenkrung. Signature character of this congee lies in the smoky aroma of charcoal stove they cook the dish on. Get your congee from 6am-12pm for breakfast and from 5pm-9pm for dinner.

Charoenkrung Rd. Tel. 02-234-9407 , 081-916-4390 , 089-795-2629

Getting there: Get off BTS Saphan Taksin and you’ll be able to walk there

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Taste of the Week: Congee