Fish porridge recipe
Recipe type: Mains
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 3-4
An easy and light tasting meal that is extremely nutritious.
  • 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)
For marinating the cod:
  • 1-2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • a couple of dashes of ground white pepper
  1. Set the rice grains to cook (it takes about an hour in my rice cooker and about 25min on the stove).
  2. Marinate the cod for at least half and hour. You can do this the night before cooking.
  3. 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.
  4. minutes before the porridge is done, heat a pan/ wok and add the ginger and scallions. Fry till fragrant.
  5. Add the minced garlic and fry till fragrant.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Cover the rice cooker and let it finish the cooking process.
  9. Dish, garnish with crispy shallots* (cooking note 4) and scallion.
1. Using cod makes the porridge taste smoother. You can use threadfin or red snapper in place of cod - the porridge will still be sweet but it won't be as smooth. Instead of frying the threadfin or red snapper, steam them with ginger and scallions. Use only the flesh (discard skin and bones). In a separate sauce pan, fry the garlic in 1 teaspoon of oil. Add the fish and the garlic (together with the oil) into the porridge 10 minutes before the porridge is done.

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.
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