Chinese Rice Porridge

  • Active Time 10m
  • Total Time 2h 40m

Serves 6 to 8

For many families in Asia, a typical day begins with a bowl of jook, or rice porridge. Oftentimes, vendors with pots suspended from the ends of bamboo poles haul the hot meal right to the front door. Although rice porridge comes from humble beginnings, today it is served with a variety of exotic toppings, ranging from sliced raw fish (as here) to thousand-year eggs, or bite-size balls of ground fish or meat.


  • For Porridge:
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice (or equal amounts of long-grain and glutinous rice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • For Topping:
  • 1/4 pound good-quality tuna, striped bass or sea bass
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons peeled and finely slivered fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • Big pinch of ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green (spring) onion
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro


FOR PORRIDGE: Rinse the rice with cold water until the rinse water runs clear. Drain. Put the rice in a large saucepan and stir in the salt and oil. Add the water and chicken stock. Bring to a boil over high heat and stir the rice to loosen the grains from the bottom of the pan. Set the cover ajar and boil gently for 5 minutes. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is soft and is the consistency of porridge, about 1 1/2 hours. Keep warm.

FOR TOPPING: Wrap the fish in plastic wrap and place in the freezer to freeze partially, about 1 hour. Cut the fish into thin slivers and arrange on a serving plate. In a bowl, mix together the ginger, soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil; pour over the fish. Sprinkle the green onion and cilantro over the top.

TO SERVE: Ladle the hot porridge into warmed soup bowls. To eat, pick up a few slices of fish, onions and cilantro and set them on top of each serving of porridge. Serve hot.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2440

nutrition information per serving

96 calories; 2g total fat; 7mg cholesterol; 312mg sodium; 10g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 7g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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