I grew up thinking porridge only as rice porridge (the Asian style). Then I got confused between the British porridge and the congee in restaurants. Anyway, the porridge here refers to the rice porridge, which rice are being cooked in a lot of water.
My grandmother cooked perfect pork bones porridge, one of those she cooked the rice for a super long time in a lot of water and with a lot of pork bones. Some times she made porridge with little pork balls. We then the children always loved it. She had to feed lunch to many grandchildren every Monday to Friday while our parents are at work.
As Autumn has officially arrived, and the summer clothing are being put aside to a separate cupboard, I find it perfect weather for porridge eating.
Before writing this recipe, I had a look at wikipedia about the use of MSG (monosodium glutamate) and its side effect as MSG is considered an unhealthy flavouring agent in Asia. I never use ajinomoto (a type of monosodium glutamate) in my cooking, but the laziness of making my own “stock” means I do use some chicken stock powder or our favourite Knorr liquid stock. We found this in the Asian supermarket, they come in a pack of four, chicken or pork. It does not say that it’s MSG free, therefore I assume it contains MSG. What other reason could make it so tasty?
However, the MSG and health effect thing might after all be a myth. Many researches had been done and no conclusive find on the bad side effect on human’s health if it’s taken as flavouring to food and taken in small reasonable quantity. Phew.. now I feel less guilty in using this amazing stock.
Ingredients (for 2-3 persons):
- 1 cup of rice (about 150 gram)
- 2/3 of the pork stock (or your own home made stock)
- 100 gram minced meat, marinate in 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, 1/2 tablespoon corn flour, some white pepper and 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 thumb size of ginger – julienned (some for cooking, some for garnishing)
- scallion – julienned for garnishing
- 2 eggs – break into a bowl and beat them roughly
Make the minced pork into little balls before adding them in the porridge. Some like it proper meat ball size but I personally prefer it small (m&m size) to make eating while it is hot easier. Note that if you make your pork balls bigger, make sure the porridge remains at very soft boil so that the meat does not harden too much while being cooked.
Lastly, pour the eggs into the porridge slowly and while stirring the porridge. Taste the porridge and add some light soy or white pepper to taste.
Serve the porridge with scallion and ginger garnish. I have added also some century eggs which you can buy them easily in any local Asian supermarket if you like them too.
This is a perfect comfort food in cold weather. You can replace the pork balls with pork ribs or any other types of meat that you like. However, if you are using pork ribs, cook them in low temperature (very soft boil, with bubble barely gets to the top) for one hour before serving.