KitchenTigress: Teochew Porridge

Teochew Porridge

New rice is better than old when making Teochew porridge. New rice is rice that's harvested recently. It has a high starch content. Old rice is less starchy, because it has been harvested and stored for some time.

How to tell if your rice is old or new?

New rice feels moist and smooth, like baby skin. Old rice is dry and a bit rough. Or you could just look at the packaging for the rice. It should say "new" for new rice. If it doesn't, the rice is old.

Unless you're a peasant who has to work in the fields after your meal, a quarter cup of rice per person would be sufficient.

For the first quarter cup, add about 650 ml water and for each subsequent quarter cup, add 250-350 ml. Bring the water to a boil, then continue boiling on high heat for about 15 minutes.

The porridge must be kept at a furious, rolling boil. Otherwise, it'd be thin and watery. Make sure it doesn't boil over when it foams by lowering the heat slightly if necessary.

After boiling for about 15 minutes, when the water turns slightly starchy, the porridge is ready.

Old rice may need a few more minutes and a bit more water. The rice grains continue to absorb water and the porridge thickens after the heat is turned off. So don't let the porridge rest too long unless you prefer it thicker, cooler and softer.

Want something that goes really well with Teochew porridge? Check out my next post for an chai poh omelette that's thick, fluffy, not too salty and not too oily.

I grew up eating piping hot porridge for lunch and breakfast almost everyday. For me, porridge is the best comfort food bar none. A good bowl of hot porridge energizes the body, lifts the spirit, and warms the heart.

(Recipe for 2 persons)

½ cup rice, washed
950 ml water

1. Bring water to a boil and add to rice. Continue to boil on high heat. Porridge is ready after about 15 minutes when water is slightly starchy. Old rice would need a few more minutes and a bit more water.

The ratio of water to rice changes with the amount of rice being cooked. Here's a rough guide:
¼ cup rice - 650 ml water
½ cup rice - 950 ml water
¾ cup rice - 1,250 ml water
1 cup rice - 1,550 ml water
1¼ cup rice - 1,900 ml water