Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pork porridge


The whole family was sick last month.

The Chinese, as much as the Germans, believe in having light meals when one is sick. It's easier on the stomach and one has a higher chance of keeping the food down.

Of course our idea of what constitutes "light" food varies from culture to culture. In Germany, that would mean salt prezels, coke, plain bread, or plain biscuits. The Chinese version of "sick" or "light" food would be rice porridge, anything with soup, or mee sua - a type of thin noodles cooked in soup broth. I hated it when I was younger and my mom forced me to eat it. Even today, when I think of how it tastes, my stomach starts to churn. 

Bel and I were whatsapping the other day and exchanging porridge tips! If someone told me before I moved to Germany that I would be chatting with my girlfriend and exchanging porridge tips, I would have thought that this person was crazy!

But there we were, talking about porridge and what ingredients one could put in porridge to vary its taste.

We don't have the luxury of ordering porridge from eateries / restaurants here. Yup. There's not a single Chinese restaurant that sells porridge in Stuttgart. In any case, when one is sick, one is stuck at home and still has to somehow nurse oneself back to health.

I usually cook the standard chicken porridge from home-made chicken stock. Hence, pork porridge sounded like a very nice and tasty alternative!


- Brown rice (1 cup)
- Dried Scallops (About 12-15)
- Minced meat (200 grams)
- 1 Egg
- Soy sauce
- Oyster sauce
- Sesame oil

1. Soak the dried scallops in warm water until they are softened. I usually soak them for about an hour. Reserve the water.

2. Wash the brown rice and place it in a rice cooker with a porridge function. Pour in the water reserved from soaking the dried scallops and top it up with normal water.

3. Using your fingers, break the soaked dried scallops into smaller pieces and throw them into the rice.

4. Cook the porridge according to the rice cooker instructions.

5. While the porridge is cooking, marinate the minced meat with soy sauce, oyster sauce and a bit of sesame oil.

6. Once the porridge is done, pour it into a pot and turn on the stove.

7. Cook the minced meat in the porridge - You can either roll it up into meat balls, or simply stir the minced meat into the porridge (my preference because it's more fuss-free!)

8. Once minced meat is cooked, break an egg and either let it cook with the heat turned off (egg will be a bit runny), or cook the egg thoroughly before turning off the heat.

Sammy and I loved this porridge SO much! It was the first time I used dried scallops to cook porridge and oh boy, that made all the difference! I suppose one can use dried scallops for almost everything and it gives any dish the authentic Chinese / Cantonese flavour.

The idea of adding an egg is so innovative! Why didn't I think of that earlier? Thanks Bel! :)

Another alternative of making pork porridge is to make meat stock from pork ribs and use the stock to boil the porridge. I tried this once and it certainly tasted very good too. BUT pork rib stock does come with a whole lot of fat - which I reckon wouldn't be too easy on a weak tummy. Hence, this recipe is a healthier and faster alternative!


Bel said...

Wow glad u guys enjoyed it!! It's funny how we spent such a long time discussing porridge recipes lol
Enjoy!! :)

elainegan said...

Likewise, hardly any restaurants do porridge here, the dim sum places tend to dish up watered-down dull congees! I usually add fish (pomfret) into mine. Hubba can never get used to it though!

Pris said...

Bel - Yeah it was soo yummy! So nice that you still have an Ah-ma to tell you all these secrets to home-cooked food!

Pris said...

Elaine - Oh is it??? I usually like porridge at dim sum places, but only when they are flavourful. Oh can you find fresh fish there? The pomfret I find here are frozen.... so don't dare to cook them in porridge!

elainegan said...

Yep, frozen pomfret here too, but I buy it anyway whenever craving for it :)

Pris said...

Elaine - But don't you find that frozen pomfret has a fishy taste to it? I tried steaming it once and it was sooo fishy. Is that the same when u cook pomfret in porridge too?

Andrea said...

Looks delicious Pris! I love pork porridge too. I used to eat the Clementi Hawker Center Pork Porridge for breakfast -- it was awesome. Something so simple yet so satisfying. There's something about congee!

Anonymous said...

Hiya, another tip from a forced-to-improvise overseas Singaporean mom... Running a blender (Stabmixer) through the porridge just before serving gives it a creamier, congee-esque feel!

- mom from freiburg

Pris said...

Andrea - Haha so funny how you still remember where you usually go for congee! I know right, porridge is such great comfort food!And now that I realize that porridge cooked with brown rice tastes just as yummy, I'm gonna use brown rice more often!

Pris said...

-mom from freiburg-

Hello! Welcome to my blog! Thanks for your tip! I used to puree Sammy's porridge when he was less than a year old, now I'm just too lazy! But yeah, the consistency is better when I puree it!


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