Jan 20

Ginger & Chicken Rice Porridge with Poached Egg


Ginger & Chicken Rice Porridge



When travelling in Asia, ask for porridge at breakfast time and you’ll get this savoury rice version. Also known as ‘jook / juk‘ in Cantonese or congee (kanji) in other languages, it is served in a variety of ways with various toppings and condiments. Some serve the rice plain then eat it with accompanying side dishes. Others add flavourings and extra ingredients right into the rice while it cooks. This is the version I am most familiar with; the Cantonese version. Rice porridge can be made with a various meats; pork being the most popular. But you can make it with chicken, fish, frogs, offal or just plain ‘ol vegetables. I like to think of this as the Asian version of risotto.



As a child, I hated rice porridge … all thanks to my Mom. It is a well known practice to eat porridge when one is sick, as the consistancy is more tolerable to invalids, especially those with a sore throat. Adding ginger, chicken broth and various other meat is not just nourishing but fortifying, and the ginger helps with tummy ailments. So, porridge was only ever given to me when I was sick …. howeverrrrrr, Mum also took it upon herself to omit seasoning my porridge with salt and pepper in lieu of Bovril! Hands up how many of you know what Bovril is? Bovril is a thick, salty beef extract concentrate, similar to Vegemite and Marmite, which turns everything it touches a dirty brown. I can only assume she sought to boost my immunity further by sticking this product into my already uninteresting bowl of porridge. Since that time just looking at a bowl of porridge is enough to bring back memories of brown porridge. The smell of Bovril is pretty distinct as well; one doesn’t forget it that easily.






Having said that, a congee revival has occurred within me and I am determined to clear its (unjustified) besmirched name forever. There are certain things that already taste good and are good for you without someone meddling round with the original recipe ~~ congee is one of them. Done right, like how those old coffee shop owners do it in Kuala Lumpur, and it’s a little slice of heaven … especially on a cold day. What better time to add this to the blog, considering it is now smack bang in the middle of winter. If I was back home, I would usually order the meatball variety (made with minced pork) … but today I shall demonstrate the chicken version to start. This recipe is sooooo simple, there hardly needs to be a recipe in the first place. But here goes anyway.



Begin by gently sautéeing the grated ginger and spring onion in a tiny bit of veggie oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Then add the rice, chicken pieces, salt, chicken broth and water.


Cook, stirring occasionally, on high heat for the first 10 minutes. Then lower the fire to a simmer and leave it to cook for a further 45 minutes. If the rice seems like it is drying up too quickly, just keep adding more water or broth. And keep cooking until the rice breaks down and turns creamy.



Remove the chicken pieces, allow to cool slightly and remove the meat. Discard the bones and return the meat to the pot. Stir thru the porridge.



Dish out porridge into serving bowls. Place a single poached egg on the top. Serve with spring onion, fresh coriander leaves, fried shallots, sesame oil and soy sauce … and lots of white pepper.






And we are done! Usually the shop people will crack a raw egg over the piping hot porridge and allow the residual heat to partially cook it. Personally tho, I don’t fancy a raw egg going near ANYTHING I am about to ingest … another childhood trauma, but I’ll save that story for another day. You don’t have to include the poached egg to the dish, it’s tooootally optional for the porridge will taste awesome just on it’s own.






Ingredients : Serves 4

  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 chicken thighs, trimmed of skin and fat
  • 2 inch fresh ginger root, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp spring onion, chopped (white part only)
  • 4 poached eggs*  (optional)
  • salt & white pepper
  • Fried shallots
  • Spring onion
  • Fresh coriander



~ Enjoy ~





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