Rice Porridge

Chinese rice porridge is such a versatile dish. You need very few ingredients to get it going. Primarily, you need a great stock, rice grains and whatever meat or seafood that you have parked in the refrigerator. If those aren’t available, you can dish out a plain porridge and eat them with side condiments like fried peanuts, anchovies, fermented tofu etc.

I have been unwell lately. All the medication and especially the antibiotics, leave me with a very flat taste bud. I welcome the idea to a soupy rice broth that would wash down this stubborn discomfort at the throat.

But then, Chinese porridge can be tricky in dishing out too.

Momsie and Stevie both cooked me pork porridge for my breakfast and dinner consecutively. Both used similar ingredients for the porridge but the outcome on the texture, flavour and consistency of porridge differ vastly. The amount of water and rice ratio, the length of time to cook and when ingredients are dropped into the broth can totally affect the porridge quality and presentation.

Therefore, you can find many variations of rice porridge such as teowchew or hokkien style that has more rice texture and more soupy broth; whereas the cantonese version, congee that is cooked with more water for a longer time until it forms a sticky texture.



This teowchew version is my favourite for breakfast or lunch. It is not so filling and yet you get great satisfaction of consuming a big bowl of soup. Doesn’t stuff you up, totally light and easy.


We eat very simple in this household. The Chan loves clarity. Notice that there aren’t any fried shallots, julienne ginger or sesame seed oil? Of course, it is definitely permissible, as it adds aroma and flavour.



  • rice
  • lean pork sliced (can be replaced with fish or chicken)
  • tian jin dried vegetables
  • stock
  • cilantro
  • salt
  • fermented tofu (optional as a side dish)
  1. Put rice and stock to boil.
  2. Place in tian jin fried vegetables the moment the rice is cooked.
  3. You can season a little salt and pepper to the sliced meat before putting into the rice broth.
  4. Boil till meat is cooked and add salt to taste.
  5. Pour into a serving boil garnished with cilantro.
Stevie chosen the best cut of belly pork for me. Good to have these layers of fat and meat.
Pork belly gives better texture to minced meat. The interlace of lard and meat keeps the paste moist when cooking.

Hubby only use the best ingredients.

You will notice that the main ingredients for both porridge and congee is the same. However, due to the treatment and cooking method, the outcome is different.
Stevie’s congee gives a warmer and fuller body. The minced meat gives the feeling that every spoonful is laced with bites. I would prefer this kind of texture for a colder evening and for dinner as they tend to give you a feeling of a more filling dish.
  • rice
  • meat minced ( can be replaced with chicken or fish)
  • tian jin dried vegetable
  • stock
  • cilantro
  • sea salt
  • olive oil
  • light soya sauce (optional)
  1. Rub olive oil and salt to rice, process believed to make a smoother congee paste. Leave for 10 minutes.
  2. Pour stock and add tian jin dried vegetable to the pot with rice.
  3. Put in minced meat.
  4. Boil for 20 to 30 minutes until you get a sticky congee whereby rice grain is quite broken down
  5. Pour into a serving boil garnished with cilantro.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s