Food has always been central in my life living in an Asian family. With my mom being from Thailand and my father from the Philippines I always felt our family had the best of both worlds when it came to Asian cuisine. In Asian culture, food is looked at as more than sustenance but also as a cure for some ailment. One of my favorite comfort and healing foods is a rice porridge called Khao Tom or Jok (pronounced joke) but more commonly known by the Chinese name congee. Europeans are even familiar with this dish but it carries the name of gruel where they come from.
This past holiday I held off from being sick even though so many around me were dropping like flies to the cold and flu bug. I stayed strong but my body told me that was a lie as I soon fell prey to the sniffles, coughing, and fever which hit me like a truck speeding around a mountain corner. I took to bed but woke drained and hungry however my unsettled belly did not wish to do any heavy digesting. In comes my one of my favorite sick food that helps keep up my energy and feeling warm all over.
There are so many ways to make Khom Tom (which is the plainest version of the porridges) and every Asian country has its own version of it. In the Philippines, it is called, lugaw. The Japanese call it Kayu, and in Vietnam it is cháo. So there is no right or wrong way to eat your rice porridge. In the end, no matter the name given to the dish the feeling of comfort and healing are the same. You make the dish yours by adding other yummy additions such as a fried or soft boiled egg, meats, vegetables, or sauces that make you feel like you have a taste of home.
Let me know below what your favorite go-to food is when you are sick. This is just one of the dishes I go to when sick. I have several others but that is for another story.
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