There are many dishes that make us feel at ease and sometimes aid in our recovery from sickness. It could be a glass of warm milk, a plate of your favorite dish, or an abundant supply of fresh fruits.
For many, comfort food comes in the form of a warm bowl of rice porridge. With its origin traced back to ancient Asia, rice porridge has since evolved and has been given many versions.
Despite its many version, many people are still rediscovering how to make rice porridge.
Rice Porridge of Different Places
According to history, the earliest recorded reference of rice porridge was back in circa 206 B.C. to A.D. 220 during the Han dynasty.
However, there are many other accounts of versions of this dish in other countries in ancient Asia. Another prominent origin is in India where rice porridge is a staple food of Tamil people.
It also goes by many names depending on the country it came from. For the Chinese, rice porridge is referred to as congee. This is often made as plain congee and served with various side dishes such as salted duck eggs, bamboo shoots, pickled tofu, youtiao, and many others.
In Japan, rice porridge is referred to as Kayu. It is simply made with rice and water seasoned with salt to taste. Toppings such as salmon, Welsch onion, roe, umeboshi, or ginger can be added.
Meanwhile, in Korea, this dish goes by the name of Juk. It is regarded as a dish for recuperation and known as a staple famine food. The plain Juk is often cooked unflavored but served with flavorful side dishes like salted seafood or different types of kimchi.
Babor is what Cambodians call their version of rice porridge. It is a famous breakfast dish that is often eaten plain but can be served with soy sauce, dried salted fish, or fried breadsticks called char way.
Indonesia has its version of a breakfast dish called Bubur. Unlike other Indonesian dishes, the Bubur is not spicy since chili paste or sambal is often served separately. It is usually served with condiments like green onion, crispy fried shallot, fried soybean, youtiao, and soy sauce.
Meanwhile, in the Philippines, rice porridge is called Lugaw in their local language. The plain Lugaw is very similar to the Chinese-style congee. However, every region in the Philippines has its take on this savory dish.
In India, specifically in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the rice porridge is called Kanji. This dish is cooked with other grains like pearl millet, minor millet, maize, or broken wheat.
How to Make Rice Porridge
Rice porridge is best made when you have the best ingredients. For the rice, you can go with Jasmine rice or Japonica rice. They are perfect for your rice porridge to have a starchy, smooth, and silky texture.
• 200 grams of Jasmine rice
• Salt to taste
• Keep in mind that the thickness or consistency of the porridge depends on the rice and water ratio. For a very think consistency, the rice to liquid ratio is 1:7. For a thick consistency, you can go with 1:8, for medium-thick use a 1:9, and for medium-thin consistency, use a 1:10 ratio.
• Prepare your rice by washing it to get rid of any dirt or impurities.
• Using a medium-sized saucepan, bring your water to a boil, then reduce the heat, after which you can add the rice.
• Bring the water and rice mixture to a boil then reduce the heat again to medium.
• Let it simmer for the next 20 to 30 minutes. Stir it every now and then to prevent it from sticking at the bottom of the pan. You will notice that the mixture will become thin as the rice releases more scratch as it boils.
• If in case you want to add other ingredients like chicken, beef, pork, or fish, add them only after your rice porridge is thick. Stir them in well until the ingredients are perfectly cooked. Season your rice porridge with salt and then serve it while hot.