If you would have asked me my attitude on rice porridge a year ago, I would have rolled my eyes. In China, rice porridge 米粥 is often spoken of as a holy dish that can cure absolutely everything. No matter what my illness is, the recommendation from the locals in my village or from my co-fellows has always been to eat porridge. Even when I come up with alternatives, I am always met with resistance. Additionally, I have been eating oat porridge every morning for about 8 years now, so I was a bit threatened by this alternative “porridge”, as I always viewed oats as the “superior” grain. I WAS WRONG.
Last week was a particularly ugly health week for me in rural China. Starting on Sunday, I had an allergic reaction to Taro. Alert: If you do not cook Taro thoroughly, you might be allergic to this chemical that is on the outside.Booo…. Then, on Tuesday morning, I woke up unable to open or close my mouth. My TMJ was acting up. I had no idea what to do, but I knew I had to eat soft foods. I was determined not to eat oats two times in a day. I was stuck with porridge, and I am so thankful that I was!
I ate porridge for 2 days, and let me tell you, it was so 好吃 (delicious) and healthy. Additionally, it is the closest thing I have come to feeling like I was eating a comforting bowl of chicken noodle soup (minus the chicken and noodles thing?). Simply put, it made me feel at home. I played with two different recipes, and today you will get one of them. Stay Tuned for more. I plan on making a Top 10 Porridge List as soon as I cook 10 different porridges.
Cauliflower Cilantro Rice Porridge
- 1 head of cauliflower cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 small red peppers diced
- 2 handfuls of cilantro roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/2 inch of minced ginger
- 1/2 cup rice
- 3-4 cups of water
- salt and pepper to taste
Let’s Do It:
1. Cut the Cauliflower into bite-sized pieces (smaller than you would for a stir-fry)
2. Dice the onions and green peppers.
3. Roughly chop the cilantro.
4. Clean 1/2 cup of rice
5. Put rice in the rice cooker with 3 cups of water (As you play with porridge more, you will probably identify the water/rice ratio that works best for you). If it looks like there is too much water in the rice cooker, you probably put enough. The starches will start sticking together to form
6. Add cauliflower, onions, red peppers
7. Put the rice cooker on porridge setting and let cook for 40 minutes.
8. Add the ginger, garlic, salt, pepper. When you add these depends on how strong you want these flavors to be. Let cook another 20 minutes.
9. The porridge should be a creamy consistency with the rice completely broken down.
9. Stir in the cilantro right before you eat. (You can add this earlier if you want the cilantro flavor to be less pronounced)
9. Eat up! I like to eat it with some 酸菜 (pickled vegetables) on top.