Jok Prince (โจ๊กปรินซ์)
East side of Charoen Krung, a bit south of Si Wiang
Breakfast is always interesting in a new place in Asia. Doing a search for breakfast invariably results in long discussions from expats and travelers alike as to where to get the best western breakfast. For me, if I wanted a good western breakfast, I’d never leave the west. It can be quite frustrating to figure out what the locals like to start their day off with. One thing that’s pretty universal though in Asia, where China has had a profound impact throughout the generations, is congee. Jok, as it’s known in Thailand (pronounced like joke, but with more of an emphasis on ‘jo’ and a deemphasis on the ‘ke’), is a rice porridge that’s cooked with various types of meat, often pork. I’ve always been a huge fan of congees from all different regions, but I’ve found the added spice and range of tastes that South East Asian countries add to theirs is always great, and Jok Prince is no exception.
Jok Prince’s jok is made with a broth of pork and spices, cooked to a wonderfully smooth and silky texture. Served with a few freshly cooked pork meat balls, and egg if you ask for it (please do!), and slices of raw ginger on top, the amount of flavor in the otherwise plain-looking porridge is crazy. I love vinegar, so I always add a healthy amount of vinegar with chili and a splash or two of fish sauce to open up the flavor even more. To round out the meal, get a pathong ko, a Thai version of a yóutiáo (油条). A pathong ko is an unsweetended piece of fried dough that’s perfect for sopping up the remnants of the jok left in the bowl that your spoon may have a hard time getting to.
Jok Prince is open from 6am to 10am for the breakfast crowd and then again 5pm to 11pm for dinner and late night snacks and is super cheap, only 45 baht (roughly $1.50) for a bowl of jok with an egg and a pathong ko. Finding it is a bit difficult. I’ve left a map link connected to the address above. From the Sephan Taksin BTS station, cross to the east side of Charoen Krung street (the large street going north / south through Bang Rak) and walk north. Keep walking north of the CIMB Thai bank and Top Charoen Optical shop and keep an eye out for a little shop in an alley way on the right (there’s only two alley ways, the first one sells a pretty good fish ball noodle soup, the second one is Jok Prince). Look for two large vats of bubbling rice porridge and stacks of pink and sky blue bowls and spoons.