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Friday, July 16, 2010

Salmon Congee 三文鱼粥

A recreation of what I’ve tasted at Ryu Men Tei, Subang Jaya.

We always frequent this place when Mike and I still lived in USJ. I think I’ve almost eaten everything on their menu, except for their lobsters and live catches in aquariums. As we only go there for regular dinners, lobsters and those geoducks are a luxury that we never indulged in. Ha, but a good dinner only needs good food, there’s no necessity for luxury stuff. I love everything there.. except for their sushi, which is find to be a bit bland for my taste. Other stuff are pretty nicely seasoned.

Lydia and Lyanne was sick during this weekend (as of this dish, weeks and weeks ago), so, we didn’t go out. What I had in my fridge were salmon, spring onions, filament crab sticks and not much of other stuff. Well, congee was the easiest stuff for Sunday lunch, as I will always cook the rice the night before I sleep and bring it back to a boil in the morning for a smooth smooth congee.

The night before, I boil 5 cups or more water. Wash 1 cup rice and put it in. Bring to a rolling boil and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, with lid on. Take a look at the rice, it should look flowered (split). Return the lid and turn off the heat and let it sit overnight. It should look like puffed rice grains the next day. Only use high starch rice to make congee, so that you’ll have nice and smooth results. AAA grade Thai Fragrant rice (jasmine), Japanese short grain rice, or Bario rice will be a good choice.

The next morning,(or you can also do this the night before, just mix both broth and rice together the next day) with another pot, I boil 5 cups or less water or stock or dashi. Put in chicken or whatever meat and let it cook. If it needs to be shredded take it out and let it cool. Then put the cooked rice back in, and bring it back to a boil on high heat for 10 minutes. There you have it, smooth express porridge in the morning. Well of course, you can always use the slow cooker and let it cook overnight the whole thing if you want, but I don’t.

For this time, I used
1 cup Thai fragrant rice (jasmine rice) (Makes about 2.5L porridge)
5 cups or more water
Cook this the night before just before you go to sleep until the rice splits.

5 cups or less water
2 Tbsp mini dried scallops
200gm salmon flesh, or just use one piece of 1 inch thick salmon steak (mine was ¾ of a steak, partially used for Lyanne’s porridge weeks ago)
1 medium carrot
6 pcs filament crab stick
2 sprigs of green onion
Salt to taste (about 1.5 to 2 tsp)

1. Bring water and scallops to a boil and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Either cook the salmon in the microwave, or poach it in another saucepan of water(if you’re scared that it’ll taste fishy) or you can throw it into the pot (that is making scallops broth). Take out the salmon and let it cool down. The fish is cooked when it can be easily flaked.
3. Next, peel and finely dice the carrot, slice the green onions, slice the filament crab sticks finely.
4. By the time you’re done with the cutting and slicing, put the rice back into the scallop broth and bring to a boil on high heat (lid off), don’t’ leave the pot unattended. Stir the rice so that it’ll disintergrate into the broth. Season with salt.
5. Flake the salmon and return it to the pot. Put in finely diced carrots too.
6. When the rice has come to a boil, let it simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes, lid off.
7. Put in the sliced crab sticks, lightly stir and turn off the heat.
8. Put in green onions now or use it as a garnish later.

*The reason why I do this in 2 pots is because reboiling rice can sometimes be a daunting task. It can easily burn or if you stir it while bringing it back to boil, you may scald your wrist or palm because porridge is very very hot, worse than getting scalded by hot water. So bringing the broth to boil, then only you add the rice, reduces the cooking time and less chance of getting scalded.

Mike rarely goes back for seconds when it comes to porridge. He ate 2 big bowls of this. Very very sweet porridge.
He asked me, if this porridge is sold for RM5/bowl, will I make money. I told him Ryu Men Tei sold this for almost RM10  :-)

And I did this again the following week.... this pic below is from the 2nd week , I left some salmon to sprinkle on top for garnish, rather than mixing them all in.


  1. I hope your both girls recover by now. Your salmon congee looks really delicious, I will try it out at home. Thanks for sharing. :)

    I have 2 awards to share with you, please feel free to collect it from my blog.

  2. Lovely porridge and very soothing-looking for the tummy. But I'm off porridge for a while. On a trail of vengeance eating! ;p

  3. DG,
    thanks for the awards

    This was done months ago.. and they are well now.
    thanks for your concern

  4. Busygran,
    I tot you're on light eating now???? After the loofah soup, and now back to eating with a vengeance??? Hhahaha... like Janet Jackson lor..

  5. Manglish,
    The congee not made for you, why are you touched??
    You must be imagining things.
    Yaiks, go see a shrink.

  6. Thanks for the tips! I have to try your method next time.

  7. Wendy, you have read my mind. :-) I love the congee with seafood! My brother used to cook lots of this (well, similar, not looking as good as this. ) and served with Youtiao for the dinner. He like to add some very thinly shredded ginger to the congee too.

  8. you cook salmon too, next time I want to try this, look simple and delicious.

  9. Looks really yummy and nutritious...will make this the next time I buy fresh salmon. ;)

  10. Where do you usually get the salmon? Now I seldom buy them coz no.1: I don't do the cooking here, and no.2: someone told me before that these imported fish will have preservertives no matter how fresh they are. but I do miss them are they priced now?

  11. I hope both your girls are well. I like this kind of smooth and soft porridge. When I cook this I always add a handful of glutinous rice to it and it will produce very thick and smooth porridge.

  12. Pigpigscorner,
    Now you don't need to wake up extra early to boil porridge ;)

  13. Angie,
    Hmmm... I love youtiao with my porridge too :)
    But this time I don't have them at home.

  14. Sonia,
    I cooked this long ago, only posted yesterday :P

  15. Mel,
    Always got them at Jusco. It's about 10 bucks per piece la, RM3.70/100gm, about that la.
    Sometimes even local fish at local market also go, but how do we know?
    Sigh, food nowadays are unsafe unless one grows or cultivates them ourselves.

  16. Gert,
    Thanks for the tip.
    I use high grade Thai fragrant rice, which makes a nice smooth porridge w/o additional starches. If I'm using local rice, maybe I need to use glutinous rice. Steeping them long enough in the water will make them break and boiling them at high heat at the end will bring out all the starches and make it really smooth.

  17. the congee looks gd and is a light and healthy dish.

  18. Wendy, this looks like a dish I could have for a a healthy meal ... all on its own. Nothing else. =)

    You know what, for the whole week, I had baked salmon and veggies for lunch at work. I baked the whole package but playing with different seasonings/spices/herbs. They're up on my Flickr jor ... But dunno when can blog about them lar ... Hahaha! See, I told you before, I can eat the same thing for one whole week w/out feeling bored. LOL!

    Mike is my dad's opposite! My Cantonese "lou dao" IS a 粥桶! I guess that was why he chose to marry my Teochew mom! 潮州人食好多粥嘛!LOL!

  19. my mummy always cook for me when i am sick!

    now, when i am sick... i have to cook myself :(

  20. Love the way u cook the porridge! Will try out soon~ Thx for sharing!

  21. Jess,
    Good for washing tummy... hehehe.
    Let it rest a bit.

  22. Voon,
    Where's ur wife when u're sick?

  23. Pei-Lin,
    I could never be like you and eat like that.
    I can't even eat the same thing the next day.

    But I can eat plain congee with chives omelette everyday.

  24. AhTee,
    The tip is for morning porridge :)
    If you're making it for lunch dinner, there's no point to do it in 2 pots.
    Anyway, hope this method turns out well for you.

  25. I LOVE salmon- that looks delish! My absolute favorite salmon dish is linguine with smoked salmon. It's definitely not healthy, but it tastes amazing!

  26. Kathryn,
    I love any pasta with smoked salmon too.
    It's ok to indulge once a while, but not everyday :)


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