Since we got married, I’d never cooked fish porridge for my hubby until this year. You see, we are generally gluttons, so as you would expect, fish porridge won’t fill our stomachs up much. In fact, I’d only cooked fish porridge once – for myself – when I was down with HFMD together with my then 4-month-old daughter when he went for his cousin’s wedding dinner. I know, it’s odd that I remember such things in detail, but if you were in such pain, I think you’d remember quite a bit.
Alright so somehow this year, our appetite shrunk a little, at least on some days. And lo and behold, one day the hubby asked if I would cook him fish porridge. I asked him if he was ill because in all these years, he’d never asked for fish porridge and almost always had something to say when his mum cooked it. He declared himself to be well and just wanted to start eating ‘light’. Anyway, to cut the long story short, we started to fall in love with the simplicity of fish porridge and my family kinda survived on it for the two weeks I was down with a very bad strain of flu and cough a few months back. And now we have it at least once, if not twice, a week. I’m secretly glad because this is really easy to cook. 😛
For my fish porridge recipe, it’s done up differently from other recipes that I’ve come across. This is the way my grandma used to cook it and it was passed down to my mum and now to me.
Fish porridge recipe
- 300g cod fillet* (see cooking note 1), cubed
- 160g mixed grain rice
- 1L - 1.2L water (or fill your rice cooker to the 1 cup mark for Congee)
- 2-3 stalks of scallions, chop off the roots and cut into segments of about 5cm in length. Slice half of a stalk of scallion (selecting only the green portion for garnishing).
- 1 thumb-sized ginger, sliced
- 5 shallots, sliced thinly
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced very finely
- 1 heaping teaspoon of preserved radish, rinsed thoroughly to remove dirt
- fish sauce to taste
- 1 teaspoon olive oil for frying
- oil enough to cover sliced shallots (slightly less is fine too)
- 1-2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- a couple of dashes of ground white pepper
- Set the rice grains to cook (it takes about an hour in my rice cooker and about 25min on the stove).
- Marinate the cod for at least half and hour. You can do this the night before cooking.
- Prepare the crispy shallots by placing the sliced shallots in a microwave-save bowl and covering at least half of the amount of shallots with oil. Cover with a microwave-safe wrap, leaving a little hole at the side so it doesn't overheat, put it in the microwave for 2.5 minutes. Add 10seconds more if the shallots are still not light brown (it will continue to cook in the hot oil so you don't need to wait till it's beautifully browned). Set aside the shallots* (see cooking note 2) when it's done.
- minutes before the porridge is done, heat a pan/ wok and add the ginger and scallions. Fry till fragrant.
- Add the minced garlic and fry till fragrant.
- Add the marinated cubed cod. Give the ingredients in the pan a mix then cover and cook for 3-5min. Remove the ginger and scallions.
- minutes before the porridge is done (my rice cooker will usually start its countdown), add in the preserved radish, cod* (cooking note 3) and garlic which you've just cooked. Add fish sauce to taste.
- Cover the rice cooker and let it finish the cooking process.
- Dish, garnish with crispy shallots* (cooking note 4) and scallion.
2. I usually have a whole jar of crispy shallots stored in the oil it was cooked in so I just dish from that jar. You can use crispy shallots when cooking vegetables too so it makes sense to just prepare in bulk and use it for a week's cooking.
3. It doesn't matter if some of the cod still looks uncooked at this point. The heat of the porridge in the rice cooker will continue to cook the cod.
4. If you use threadfin or red snapper, you can add in 1 teaspoon of shallot oil together with the crispy shallots.
5. According to my grandma and mum, cooking the fish with ginger and scallions first before adding to the porridge removes the fishy smell and hence doesn't 'pollute' the taste of the porridge. This also ensures that ginger and scallions don't end up in the porridge which could be too strong-tasting, especially for young children who may not like the taste.
6. This recipe is for 2 adults and 2 young children.
Like porridge? Here’s a chicken congee recipe!
Other cod recipes which might be of interest:
|Teriyaki cod||Ritz crumbed cod||Air-fried cod bites||Cod potato balls|
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