Certain foods have the power to transport us back to a definitive moment in our lives — and for Chrissy Teigen that food is rice porridge.
“My mom [Vilailuck] is Thai and she would always make this hearty, slow-cooked porridge for us,” she tells PEOPLE in our exclusive video series, My Food Story, where stars and chefs share a recipe that evokes a meaningful memory.
“It just always smelled like home to me,” she says. “It was a baby food for us because it was such a nice rice porridge.”
The dish known as Jok Moo allows you to customize the porridge to any flavor you want. “I loved being able to have control over my own spices and seasonings,” says the Cravings cookbook author. “I just remember every piece of pork being so spicy and well seasoned. It had this ginger aroma filling the house.”
Plus, it’s useful after a night of heavy drinking: “Now that I’m not a child eating it,” she says, “it’s an excellent hangover meal.”
Chrissy Teigen’s Jok Moo (Thai Pork and Rice Porridge)
1½ cups jasmine rice
2 chicken bouillon cubes
¾ pound ground pork
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup light soy sauce
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into very thin julienne
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Fried sliced garlic, to taste
1. Place the rice in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water. Drain and transfer to a soup pot.
2. Add 12 cups water and the bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil and cook until the rice is soft and broken down to a porridge, about 45 minutes.
3. While the porridge is cooking, in a medium bowl, combine the pork, garlic, soy sauce, salt, and pepper
4. When the rice is porridge-like, take a pinch of pork between your fingers and drop it into the pot, repeating for all of the pork mixture.
5. Add the ginger and cook until the pork “dumplings” are cooked, about 5 minutes.
6. Taste, and thin with some water if it seems too thick for your tastes. (It should be rich and comforting, but if you want it more soupy, you do you.)
7. Season to taste with more salt. Stir in the cilantro and scallions.
8. Divide the porridge among bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of fried garlic.