Fish porridge is very popular in Singapore. Every hawker centre or food courts have at least one stall selling fish porridge. They come in mainly 2 styles: Cantonese 广东 (guang dong) and Teochew 潮州 (chao zhou).
Cantonese fish congee is like a thick creamy soup with delightful fresh fish slices "hidden" within. The contrasting texture of the sweet fish slices and the creamy rice congee is wonderful. If you can slice the fish paper thin, you can add them raw to the rice porridge and let the heat and steam from the porridge itself lightly cook the fish. Fish that are just done are heavenly.
A bowl of Cantonese porridge
Some places sell raw fish porridge 鱼生粥 (yu sheng zhou). The fish is served raw in a tangy salad together with a bowl of piping hot rice porridge. Patrons can eat the fish raw or dip them into the congee to cook.
Teochew fish congee is more like a clear broth on rice with thick fish slices, usually spanish mackerel, added. It is a more robust and rustic dish.
Okay so much for hawker fare. Now let's learn how to make some homemade fish porridge.
I find it easier and faster to cook the rice porridge in a rice cooker first before preparing the other ingredients. By the time the ingredients are washed and cut, the porridge might be halfway done.
1. Cod fish porridge
A plate of steamed cod. Photo by yoppy.
Cod fish like most fish cooks quickly so it is added last. This is just a homemade recipe, not Cantonese or Teochew style. I think you would like it very much especially with really fresh fish.
Cod fish can be substituted with other white fish fillets such as dory or snapper or spanish mackerel, even salmon.
300g cod fish fillet
8 cups of plain rice porridge
1 tbsp julienned ginger
Pinch of cornstarch
Dash of sesame seed oil
Pinch of pepper
1 tbsp chopped spring onion
2 sprigs of coriander
Clean the cod fish and cut into thin slices
Marinate the fish slices with salt, pepper, sesame seed oil and cornstarch
Place the 8 cups of plain rice porridge into a pot, heat it up on slow heat
Add the julienned ginger and cod fish slices
Bring the porridge to a boil
Remove from heat
Garnish with chopped spring onion and coriander before serving
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