Friday, April 24, 2009

Rice Porridge: Meal of Leftovers


Many Asian families make a pot of rice for their evening meal. In the morning, the leftover rice is turned into breakfast. I read that this is very typical. However, in my family we were not very typical. We never had rice porridge for breakfast. Maybe it is because my dad never really cared for it. Even though we never had this for breakfast, it appeared from time to time. Sometimes my grandmother would make it because I wanted some or because someone was ill.

My grandmother made a few different versions and from her I learned how to make the different variations. For a heartier meal, I like to make it with chicken and top it with a lot of different toppings. When I am sick I make it with three ingredients: water, rice, and salt. It is very bland and I boil the hell out of the rice.

As I was driving home today, I had a craving for rice porridge. (I've been turning to quick meals lately. It is baseball season, the Nuggets are in the playoffs, the weather is nice and I have been a little busy at work. What other reason do I need to be lazy?)

8 cups water
1 piece dried galanga
1 kaffir lime leaf
salt
MSG
fish sauce
1/2 pound ground pork or minced chicken breast
2 cups leftover cooked rice
8 shrimp, peeled a deveined; optional

Toppings:
youtiao (Chinese cruller)
pork floss
black pepper
salted duck egg
fried garlic or fried onion
fried chili in oil
soy sauce or Golden Mountain brand seasoning sauce
cilantro
green onions

Directions:

Bring a pot of water to a boil with galanga, kaffir lime leaves, salt and MSG to a boil. Add minced pork or chicken. Return to a boil and then add the cooked rice. Boil until desired consistency is achieved. This can be as little as 10 minutes to as long as hours. I prefer the grains of rice intact so I cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.

To serve: Ladle into bowls and top with desired toppings.

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