Recently, there seems to be a craze going on – at least on my social media newsfeed. I’ve been seeing pictures of Fried Porridge 炒粥 shared by my friends almost too frequently. The place to go for this dish in Singapore is apparently at Delicious Coffee Shop located at Macpherson Road. According to sgfoodonfoot, they are probably the only place selling this Malaysia style dish.
When I learnt from my gf who spent 50 mins waiting for a table , I knew it would take me a while to get my spirit-is-willing-but-flesh-is-weak self to try out this place. Still intrigued by this dark and mysterious looking dish, I did a quick search over the internet and it lead me to Wendy’s blog. It gave me a better insight on this dish. To summarize, there are two similar versions, both originating from Selangor and Kedah respectively. The lineup of ingredients include fried pork lard, salted pork, prawns and dried cuttlefish. It was mentioned that the Kedah version uses cuttlefish that has been fried.
Being a fried-porridge virgin, I had no clue how it would taste like. When I made it the other day, my kitchen was filled with a tantalizing aromatic smell of bacon and cuttlefish. After tasting the first spoon, I was already craving for more. The combination of all the ingredients was absolutely perfect. The use of fried dried cuttlefish added additional umami taste and crisp texture to the silky porridge. While I can’t comment if it is similar to that of the original version or the one from Macpherson, I must say it definitely exceeded my expectation of the supposedly bland tasting porridge.
Instead of pork lard (which I omitted) and salted pork, I replaced them with bacon which is always readily available in my fridge. Other than that, the rest of the ingredients should be pretty easy to find in supermarkets or Asian grocery stores. If you are feeling generous, feel free to add in crab meat, abalone, prawns, etc to elevate the dish.
I cup of Jasmine rice – washed
5 cups (1 ltr) water – for cooking the rice
1 ½ cups (300 ml) water – for frying the porridge
4 stalks chives – washed and cut into 3-inch sections
3 cloves garlic – minced
4 slices bacon – cut into strips
4 slices (17 g) ready-to-eat dried cuttlefish – tear into strips
3 tbsp ground pork
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp chicken powder
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 – 2 tbsp dark caramel sauce / dark soy sauce (if using dark soy sauce, reduce amount and taste before adding more)
Few dashes of ground white pepper
Recipe source: Wendy in KK (slight modification)
Add 5 cups water to the uncooked rice into a medium pot. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 mins until cooked. Stir occasionally.
Remove cover and bring up the heat. There should still be some liquid left.
Let it boil for another 30 secs. Turn off heat, cover and let it sit for 15 mins, until the water is fully absorbed into the rice.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil into a wok or frying pan and lightly fry the shredded cuttlefish until crisp. Keep an eye on them as they turn brown quickly. Drain and set aside.
Using the same pan, fry the bacon under medium low heat until brown and crisp. Drain oil and set aside.
Add 2 tbsp of oil to the wok / pan and bring to high heat. Add in garlic, minced pork and stir fry until pork turns opaque and fragrant.
Add in rice porridge, 1 ½ cup water and continue to stir and mix.
Once the water is almost absorb, add in seasoning, bacon, and cuttlefish and mix well.
Reserve some of the bacon and cuttlefish as garnish or extra topping.
Lastly, add in chives and toss well. Do not cook them for too long as they will wilt and lose its vibrant color.
Turn off heat and serve warm. Garnish with reserved bacon and cuttlefish.