Our best breakfast rice recipes make everything from a luxuriant Chinese congee and comforting Southeast Asian rice soups and rice porridges to an Indonesian nasi goreng, Japanese rice bowls and Korean kimchi fried rice. Most of our breakfast rice recipes are made with eggs – whether it’s soft boiled eggs on a rice porridge or slices of omelette stirred through fried rice.
I’ve compiled this collection of our best breakfast rice recipes for our long-running series Weekend Eggs, on egg dishes from around the world, as most of these breakfast rice dishes have an egg component – whether it’s a rice porridge topped with soft jammy eggs or an omelette on a donburi or Japanese rice bowl.
I’ve also shared a few of our best breakfast rice recipes that don’t necessarily include an egg – as in the case of Cambodian pork and rice where a fried egg is optional – but are much improved by sliding on a soft fried egg with runny yolk or popping a jammy boiled egg on top.
Rice is a staple here in Southeast Asia and the wider region, traditionally eaten at least three times a day. While outside Asia rice is often considered a side dish, here rice is at the centre of a shared family-style meal, and everything else is its accompaniment.
For individual single-bowl meals, such as breakfast, along with workers lunches, market snacks and street food meals, rice is often the main event, particularly with dishes such as rice soups, rice porridges and fried rice, all of which can be eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch, a snack, dinner or supper.
If you’re a rice lover like me, you might also be interested in my project Make Rice Not War, A Celebration of Rice Diversity to Inspire Curiosity and Connection and this guide to How to Cook Rice Around the World: 66 Rice Dishes by 65 Rice Lovers. We’ve got a big announcement about that soon, so watch this space.
Now before I tell you more about our best breakfast rice recipes, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes, please consider supporting Grantourismo by supporting our original, epic, first-of-its-kind Cambodian culinary history and cookbook on Patreon for as little as the price of a mango smoothie or two a month. Or, you could buy us a coffee and we’ll use our coffee money to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing instead.
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Now let me tell you about our best breakfast rice recipes.
Best Breakfast Rice Recipes for Congee, Rice Soups and Rice Porridges for Weekend Eggs
We also recommend stocking your kitchen with Asian pantry essentials, such as condiments, sauces and seasonings, including various fish sauces, sesame oils, soy sauces, crunchy fried garlic and shallots, sesame seeds, and chilli flakes. I also encourage you to make batches of our homemade Sriracha, chilli oil, and furikake Japanese seasoning.
The ingredient I use most in my rice dishes is fish sauce – I bet you thought I was going to say soy sauce – and we often get asked which fish sauce we use. We’ll use a Cambodian fish sauce with Cambodian food, Thai fish sauce with Thai food, a Vietnamese fish sauce with Vietnamese food etc.
But if you don’t have access to a variety of sauces, we recommend Thailand’s Megachef for quality and consistency. Our American friends also like Red Boat Fish Sauce. We’ll be sharing a guide to fish sauces and our fish sauce tasting results very soon. Now let me share about our best breakfast rice recipes with you.
Best Breakfast Rice Recipes for Weekend Eggs
Our best breakfast rice recipes make everything from Chinese congee and Southeast Asian rice soups and rice porridges to Japanese rice bowls and Indonesian nasi goreng.
Pork and Crab Congee with XO Sauce Recipe by Chef Christine Manfield
Congee originated in China according to many culinary historians, but takes different forms across Asia, from a watery rice soup to a thick silky texture. In its simplest form, it’s white rice boiled in water until it breaks down into a thick porridge, which might be seasoned with white pepper and soy sauce or fish sauce. For a more flavourful congee, the rice is boiled in stock, rather than water.
This pork and crab congee with XO sauce recipe is Australian chef Christine Manfield’s luxurious version of congee and it tops our list of best breakfast rice recipes. Christine’s congee features rich ingredients such as fresh crab and pork belly, a drizzle of chilli oil and dollops of umami-packed XO sauce.
While this pork and crab congee doesn’t feature an egg, you could easily top the rich rice porridge with quails eggs, salted eggs or even soft jammy eggs.
XO is expensive, as you’d expect from a product made with sumptuous ingredients such as dried scallops (you’ll find Japanese dried scallops on Amazon), dried shrimps, and aged ham. While not cheap, XO is worth the investment.
It has so much flavour, you don’t need a great deal of it, so it will last a while. We recommend Meal of Emperor XO Sauce, which sells for US$33 for a 2-pack of 80g jars on Amazon. More affordable, though not as rich in flavour, is this 80g jar of Lee Kum Kee Hong Kong XO.
Bacon and Eggs Breakfast Congee Recipe for a Comforting East-West Savoury Rice Porridge
My hearty bacon and eggs breakfast congee recipe makes a comforting East-West savoury rice porridge that’s inspired partly by the classic Australian breakfast of bacon and eggs with sautéed mushrooms, and partly by Chinese and Southeast breakfast porridges with pork and boiled eggs, and we reckon it’s one of our best breakfast rice recipes.
Rice porridges are probably the most widely consumed type of porridge, eaten everywhere from Asia to Europe and the Middle East – from Portugal to Turkey, The Levant to Taiwan – yet they might just be the most ubiquitous in Asia.
Thought by some to have originated in India, in Tamil Nadu and Kerala – plain rice porridge is called kanji, which comes from the word for ‘boiling’ – China is perhaps the country we most associate with rice porridge or congee, although I’d wager that most Asian countries have a congee.
You will need a mortar and pestle to lightly pound the lemongrass, ginger and garlic a few times, just enough to release the aromas, not to make a paste.
Turmeric Rice Porridge Recipe with Fried Egg, Fragrant Herbs and Crunchy Shallots
Inspired by our many years living in Southeast Asia and eating countless bowls of rice porridge, my recipe for a gently spiced turmeric rice porridge with fried eggs in chilli oil is one of our our best breakfast rice recipes. (More recipes with turmeric here.)
In China, traditional congee garnishes include pickled vegetables, bamboo shoots, century eggs, and the like, while in Southeast Asia, they can include crunchy fried garlic, spring onions, slithered ginger, sliced omelette, and ground peanuts.
This rice porridge brims with flavour and texture, thanks to eggs fried in homemade chilli oil which I cook in this adorable mini fry pan and garnishes, such as fresh fragrant herbs, crispy fried shallots, and a sprinkle of chilli flakes, along with a squirt of homemade Sriracha.
Cambodian Rice Soup Recipe with Pork Meatballs for Borbor Sor
This Cambodian rice soup recipe with pork meatballs is another of our best breakfast rice recipes. It’s a comfort food favourite that’s typically eaten for breakfast – and breakfast here in Siem Reap is one of our favourite meals as there’s so much to choose from.
Options include nom banh chok, the fresh rice noodles doused in coconut-based curries served with edible flowers, leaves and herbs; kuy teav, a noodle soup with a clear broth and beef, pork, offal, or chicken; smoky, grilled pork and rice; and, of course, borbor, Cambodia’s rice soup or rice porridge, commonly known as congee across Southeast Asia.
Called ‘borbor sor’ or ‘white rice porridge’ in Khmer and made with leftover jasmine rice, it’s one of several ways to make Cambodian congee. ‘White’ used here distinguishes it from rice porridges and rice soups made from the herb and spice paste called kroeung which have a yellow-green colour depending on the type of kroeung used.
There are no eggs in this Cambodian rice soup recipe but I have served this dish with soft boiled eggs with runny golden yolks and it’s been absolutely heavenly.
Thai Rice Soup Recipe with Poached Chicken and Soft Boiled Eggs for Khao Tom Gai
This easy Thai rice soup recipe with poached chicken and soft-boiled eggs makes khao tom gai, a beloved single-bowl meal in Thailand that’s eaten any time one is in need of comfort or nourishment (or a hangover cure or prevention!) – whether it’s breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or supper.
In contrast to a Thai rice porridge or jok, the Thai-Chinese take on congee, which is made with broken rice from scratch and simmered for hours – traditionally it was cooked overnight on charcoal – rice soup or khao tom can be made fresh or with leftover rice cooked in stock. We’ve gone with that latter option.
I make a stock from the water the chicken has been poached in then simmer leftover rice in that aromatic stock, then top the rice soup with the shredded poached chicken, along with soft-boiled eggs with runny yolks, a sprinkle of sliced scallions and crispy fried onions, and sliced chillies to add some heat.
It may be easy to make, but this Thai rice soup recipe creates a sublime rice soup if you’re a lover of these Southeast Asian style rice soups and rice porridges, and it’s another of our best breakfast rice recipes.
Cambodian Chicken Rice Porridge Recipe for Borbor Sach Moan
Our Cambodian chicken rice porridge recipe is another of our best breakfast rice recipes. It makes the Cambodian congee, borbor sach moan. It’s long been thought that this chicken rice porridge is a dish of Chinese origin and part of the Cambodian-Chinese culinary heritage rather than a Khmer dish.
No matter its provenance it’s become a comfort food favourite of all Cambodians. We’ve observed Cambodians tuck into big bowls of this borbor for breakfast, brunch, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner (particularly if someone is feeling ill), and a late night supper, i.e. hangover cure.
Here in Siem Reap we can find borbor made with chicken, pork, fish, dried fish, seafood, snails, and frog legs, and it’s served with an array of condiments, from dried fish floss and pickled vegetables to fish sauce, chilli flakes, and fresh fragrant herbs.
This Cambodian chicken rice porridge recipe doesn’t call for eggs, but I can confirm that soft boiled eggs with runny golden yolks are sublime with this dish.
Cambodian Vegetable Congee Recipe Adapted for Rice Cookers
This Cambodian vegetable congee recipe makes a delicious, healthy vegetable-driven rice porridge or borbor in Khmer, and it’s another of our best breakfast rice recipes. It has a base of kroeung, a Cambodian spice paste, and is a vegetarian congee, but we have tips for vegans in the post.
This rice dish was traditionally made in a large pot on a clay brazier, over an open fire or on a gas burner. While most households in Southeast Asia probably have a rice cooker, not all Southeast Asians make rice in a rice cooker.
In Cambodia, for example, steamed rice is still mostly cooked in a pot on a clay brazier or directly over an open fire. When we moved to a village on the edge of Siem Reap at the start of the pandemic, we’d watch our neighbours light a fire in their yard each day on which they’d place a large metal pot to cook their rice and soups. I’ve adapted the recipe for rice cookers.
This is another recipe that doesn’t call for eggs, but jammy boiled eggs are brilliant on top of this dish.
Tamago Kake Gohan Recipe for Japanese Egg on Rice
Our recipe for tamago kake gohan or Japanese egg on rice – or TKG for the KFC generation, as I like to call it – makes a classic Japanese breakfast for egg lovers, and it’s another of our best breakfast rice recipes.
This quick and easy breakfast egg dish of raw egg stirred into piping-hot steamed Japanese rice can be customised as you like. It can be served simply with soy sauce and sesame oil; with traditional Japanese sauces, pickles, condiments, and toppings such as spring onions, sesame seeds, furikake, bonito flakes, or roasted seaweed; or with European ingredients, such as Italian Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano, which are very popular in Japan.
If you’ve enjoyed our recipes for Japanese comfort food dishes, particularly the recipes for donburi or rice bowl dishes, such as oyakodon and katsudon, below, then you’re going to love this tamago kake gohan recipe for Japanese egg on rice.
This recipe comes with a warning, however: if you don’t like raw eggs, this dish is not for you. If you do eat raw eggs, you probably know this, but do use pasteurised eggs to be safe, make sure the rice is piping hot, and stir the egg in as soon as you plate the rice, to reduce the risk of salmonella. If you have concerns, don’t make this dish. More tips in the post.
Katsudon Recipe for a Japanese Pork Cutlet and Egg Rice Bowl
A popular Japanese donburi or rice bowl meal, this katsudon recipe makes another of our best breakfast rice recipes. Katsudon consists of a crunchy tonkatsu, a Japanese pork cutlet, cooked in eggs and spring onions, served atop a bowl of rice and sprinkled with slices of scallions.
The name ‘katsudon’ is derived from ‘katsu’, which means ‘cutlet’ – a breaded piece of pounded meat dredged in flour, egg and bread crumbs (in Japanese cooking, it’s panko breadcrumbs) before being fried – in this case, ‘tonkatsu’ (pork cutlet), and ‘don’ from ‘donburi’, Japanese rice bowl.
Some restaurants top katsudon with extras such as finely sliced ginger, an egg yolk, some use Japanese chilli powder, or a big squeeze of Japanese mayonnaise, but we find that there’s a good balance of flavour in this katsudon recipe as it is.
Oyakodon Recipe for a Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl
Terence’s easy oyakodon recipe for a Japanese ‘chicken and egg rice bowl’ consists of silky-soft scrambled eggs with sweet spring onions and tender chicken simmered in dashi, served atop a bowlful of steamed Japanese rice, and it’s another of our best breakfast rice recipes.
You’ll need bonito flakes and kombu to make the dashi stock. Also source some shichimi togarashi – a blend of seven spices with chilli as a base – to sprinkle over the top of this dish. One of the most popular brands of Japanese togarashi is S&B brand.
There are specially-made oyakodon pans to cook this dish in. Terence uses a 15cm pan as we find the bigger size makes a rice bowl that is far too filling for us. Chefs in Japan just slide the eggs into the bowl in one motion, but Terence finds a silicone spatula is essential to help it on its way.
Pad Krapow Omelette Rice Bowl Recipe for a Thai Donburi
Our original Thai pad krapow omelette rice bowl recipe makes our idea of a Thai style donburi – donburi means ‘rice bowl’ and the popular dish consists of a generous topping, often an omelette, on a bed of rice in a bowl.
Like pad krapow or pad kra pao, a stir-fried basil and ground meat served with rice and a fried egg, it’s an affordable workers fast-food meal. (You’ll find our pad kra pao recipe here with helpful tips.)
In Japanese, donburi means ‘rice bowl’ and Japanese rice bowls consist of a generous topping on a bed of rice in a bowl. Eggs are usually involved – typically served soft-scrambled atop the rice – as they are with Thai pad krapow, where a fried egg is often plopped on top of the dish.
Thai pad krapow, also written as pad kra pao, is a Thai street food dish of stir-fried basil with ground pork, chicken or beef, that’s served alongside steamed rice. While the egg is optional, it’s a popular choice and a must as far as we’re concerned.
Cambodian Fried Rice Recipe for the Best Bai Cha
Fried rice is often eaten for breakfast here in Cambodia and this Cambodian fried rice recipe makes the best Cambodian bai cha (fried rice), a lighter version of the popular Chinese fried rice, and it’s easily another of our best breakfast rice recipes.
Bai cha (also written as bai tcha, bai char, bai chaa, bay cha) is simply ‘fried rice’ – ‘bai’ is rice and ‘cha’ is to stir-fry – and it’s distinguished by two quintessential breakfast ingredients, sausage and eggs, Siem Reap sausage in particular, the local take on lap cheong, the Cantonese name for a smoked, sweetened, red Chinese sausage.
Sometimes you’ll see a fried egg plopped on top in addition to the egg combined through the rice. You’ll also see fried rice made with pork and shrimps; fried rice with mixed seafood, mainly found on the Cambodian coast (look for bai char Kampot and bai char Kep, named after the coastal towns where they originate); and the luxuriant bai char kdam (fried rice with crab).
Tonkatsu Fried Rice with Onsen Eggs Recipe
This tonkatsu fried rice with onsen eggs recipe combines a few of the things we love – fried rice, eggs and tonkatsu, the succulent Japanese pork cutlet breaded in panko crumbs and deep-fried.
Like the original Chinese fried rice that was invented to use leftover rice, this tonkatsu fried rice with onsen eggs recipe is the result of combining leftovers – we had a couple of pieces of tonkatsu, the deep-fried Japanese breaded pork cutlets, and some steamed rice in the fridge – as well as a little experimentation, as Terence had been making onsen eggs.
It’s easily another of our best breakfast rice recipes. If you enjoy this, you’ll also love these tonkatsu burgers, so make extra. You’ll need this tonkatsu recipe to make your tonkatsu and tonkatsu sauce first.
Kimchi Fried Rice Recipe with Fried Egg for Kimchi Bokkeumbap
This easy Korean kimchi fried rice recipe makes kimchi bokkeumbap, rice stir-fried with Korea’s famously fiery fermented cabbage kimchi and spicy chilli paste gochujang that’s topped with soft fried eggs and sprinkled with roasted seaweed, sesame seeds, and, if it’s not spicy enough for you, the Korean chilli flakes called gochugaru.
It’s fantastic, filling and comforting and it’s another of our best breakfast rice recipes for a simple kimchi bokkeumbap. There’s no pork or bacon in this kimchi fried rice, however, you could always add them if you like.
It’s a very versatile rice dish. I ran out of kimchi the other day and add braised cabbage to the little kimchi I had left. This is a vegetarian kimchi fried rice. If you skipped the fried egg, it’s essentially a vegan fried rice. Peas, beans and broccoli also work with this.
Classic Nasi Goreng Recipe for Indonesian Fried Rice with Fried Eggs and Stir Fried Prawns
This classic nasi goreng recipe makes Indonesia’s delicious fried rice with soft fried eggs and stir-fried prawns. Eaten anytime, it’s typically served with leftover satay or fried chicken, refreshing cucumber and tomato, and zingy mixed vegetable pickles.
Nasi goreng simply means ‘fried rice’ and specifically Indonesian fried rice. If you’ve been to Bali or Yogyakarta or travelled anywhere in Indonesia – or Malaysia or Singapore for that matter – you’ve undoubtedly tucked into a plate of nasi goreng at your hotel, a restaurant or a warung, a little shack, shop or kiosk serving local street food.
If you haven’t, but you’re a fried rice lover (more fried rice recipes here) then you’re going to love this classic nasi goreng recipe with fried eggs and stir-fried prawns for Indonesia’s beloved fried rice served with tasty accompaniments and garnishes. We top our Indonesian fried rice with fried eggs with runny yolks and stir-fried prawns, and sprinkle on sliced scallions, roasted peanuts and crispy fried shallots.
Cambodian Pork and Rice Recipe for Bai Sach Chrouk
This Cambodian pork and rice recipe makes bai sach chrouk, a popular Cambodian breakfast dish that is a classic that’s found all over Cambodia, and it’s another of our best breakfast rice recipes.
Rise early with the locals and you’ll spot a pork and rice stall on almost every block of nearly every town and city in Cambodia. In fact you’ll spot the plumes of smoke, hear the pork fat sizzling, and smell the sweet aromas first.
Sold at bustling morning markets and busy roadside stalls, thin pork strips that have marinated overnight are grilled and served with steamed rice and a quick pickle of carrot and daikon. A fried egg is optional, and although we haven’t included it in this recipe, I reckon it’s a must.
We shared this recipe as part of our series on the best Cambodian barbecue recipes, which included recipes for smoky grilled pork ribs, marinated beef skewers, grilled eggplant with stir-fried minced pork and fermented soya beans, and pork spare ribs with star anise.
Please do let us know if you make any of our best breakfast rice recipes in the comments below, as we’d love to know how they turn out for you.