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Fried Porridge 炒粥 - MFF Kedah Perlis #2

Saturday, November 3, 2012

This is a specialty found in Serdang, Kedah. The most popular shop that serves this is Sin Aik Kee.
Sounds weird? Not really.

I first got to know about this from a TV show, Taste with Jason (Axian) and I happened to see the last bit of the show... couldn't get much from it, but I knew this dish was really popular there. Then I found Axian's blog, but it no longer exists now. Before the blog was closed, I happened to see the picture of the raw ingredients used.

I know there is also fried porridge in Klang Selangor. But there are differences. The one in Kedah uses dried cuttlefish that has been fried. And that gives it that ummph!
I have never eaten any fried porridge before and how I replicated this was based on how I saw it being fried on TV and reading descriptions about it.

If you are trying to imagine how the taste is like... it's nothing too weird. It's just like fried noodles, and instead rice porridge is used in place of noodles. Meat, prawns, soy sauce, salted pork and chives, nothing out of the ordinary right? U just imagine a normal bowl of porridge with added smokiness and soy sauce. Just that!

 And how nice this is, also depends on your wok. The initial browning of fresh meat and prawns will add fragrance to the porridge, just like how a good plate of fried noodles is. No smoky wok, no wokky smell, hence, not nice. Make sure you wok is really hot when you start cooking it. And don't do it on a tiring day. The porridge is not easy to stir and stir and stir. Needs some arm work, LOL.

My hubby, Lydia and I whacked this big bowl of porridge clean.

Fried Porridge
Recipe by: WendyinKK
Original idea: Sin Aik Kee via Taste with Jason

25gm dried rolled cuttlefish/squid
½ cup peeled prawns
½ cup sliced pork
1 heaped cup of Chinese chives sections.
1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 cups water

Salted pork
150gm skinless pork belly
8gm salt

Boiled rice
1.5cups Siamese rice
1.5L water

2 Tbsp dark caramel sauce (as dark as u want)
2 Tbsp light soy sauce (use sufficient to season)
1 Tbsp fish sauce
½ Tbsp flounder seasoning (or use chicken stock or bilis stock powder, if using these, pls use less)
1/4 tsp white pepper (or as much as u like)

1. Prepare salted pork 2 days ahead. Marinate the pork with salt, cover and chill.
2. Wash rice and together with water, bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer for 20 minutes until rice is cooked through. Bring back to a rolling boil until the water turns murky and whitish. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit while you do the rest, the rice will expand.
3. Thinly slice salted pork belly. Place into the dry wok and cook on medium heat until oil starts to ooze out, turn heat to low and fry until no more bubbles are seen. Drain and dish up. (choose to keep or discard the lard)
4. Tear cuttlefish into small slices. In a clean wok, one medium low heat, put in 2 Tbsp of oil. Fry the cuttlefish until golden brown. Dish up and drain. Discard the oil and wash the wok. (If the cuttlefish isn’t pre sweetened, and the wok isn’t sticky, you can use back the oil.)
5. Bring everything near your cooking area. Heat wok until very hot. Put in oil and when it’s very hot, put in garlic, give it a quick stir and put in pork slices. Toss it around and when meat has turned opaque, put in prawns and stir fry until very fragrant.
6. Pour in all the rice + liquids. With the spatula, keep on scraping the sides and stir. Put in fried salted pork and keep on stirring. Add more water if needed. Put in fried dried squid.
7. Add in the seasonings and taste it, adjust it to be undersalted.
8. When the porridge has come to your preferred consistency, add in Chinese chive sections and give it a few more stirs and dish up.

*I saw small bottles of Flounder seasoning sold in Jusco, like those white pepper bottles. Mine is a big bottle given to me by fellow blogger HKChoo

I am submitting this to MFF Kedah Perlis Month hosted by WendyinKK of Table for 2...... or More

20 lovely notes:

Phong Hong November 3, 2012 at 11:36 AM  

This is so interesting! Wendy, first time I ever heard of fried porridge. Looking at the ingredients and from your description, it sounds delicious! Good lah, new dish to learn and enjoy :)

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover November 3, 2012 at 12:06 PM  

This is my hubby kind of food but not my kids..

Anonymous,  November 3, 2012 at 12:10 PM  

Hi Wendy, if I were to use beef, should I use the one with lotsa fat as a substitute to the pork? and do I need to salt the beef days ahead too? Thanks :)

Ili :D

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more November 3, 2012 at 2:53 PM  

Phong Hong,
U imagine KL hokkien me in porridge form, hahah!

Hmm... kids very susah de. My Lyanne also dun eat. But Lydia loved it.

Let u know a shorcut, beef bacon? LOL.
Yeah, the salting changes the flavour. Salt it.
For fresh meat, you can use chicken breast so that it is halal for you.

Anonymous,  November 3, 2012 at 3:21 PM  

I also watched the show. Apparently like best fried rice needs cooked overnight, this also requires overnight porridge. This apparently makes it easier to fry, less 'wet'.

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more November 3, 2012 at 4:30 PM  

Overnight porridge less wet?
I'm confused.

Peng November 3, 2012 at 4:35 PM  

Looks good and I should like, But think not my kids hahahaha

Queenie November 3, 2012 at 7:32 PM  

Wendy, akak pun ada tengok show tu dan rasanya takder masalah nak cuba, boleh tukarkan pork kpd ayam, cuma masalahnya nanti ialah takder siapa nak makan hahaha...anak2 taknak try benda2 baru bagi mereka..

akak pun ingin nak cuba nasi ulam versi Kedah tapi tu lah...nanti takder siapa nak tolong makan...

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more November 3, 2012 at 10:02 PM  

If ur kids like those dark fried noodles, this shouldn't taste too different.

Fuyoh, berani! Kalo takde orang nak tolong makan, baik jangan masak. Nanti bazir je.
Banyak lagi yang boleh buat, tengok list yang Wendy buat, mungkin ada lauk atau kuih yang sesuai untuk dicuba.

Anonymous,  November 3, 2012 at 11:28 PM  

Dear Wendy

Can you please share your winning cake recipe on the competition held on 31.10.12...I have got all the utensil and ingredients ready.

Alice November 3, 2012 at 11:47 PM  

never heard of fried porridge before, looks yummy :)

Anonymous,  November 4, 2012 at 6:43 AM  

It is less 'wet', because it is thicker and there is less water and so the porridge will not splatter all over the place.

KT November 4, 2012 at 9:12 PM  

If the porridge is too thin, you wouldn't be able to fry it because it's too watery. My grandmother used to fry leftover porridge that had become thick and gooey overnight and, after it was stir-fried with lots of kai lan and garlic, became thicker, gooeyer and slightly burnt. Looked awful but tasted awesome.

cynmaine's mum November 5, 2012 at 9:32 AM  

I cooked this once but as usual my children don't really fancy it.

Chef and Sommelier November 5, 2012 at 11:12 AM  

Wow - Fried porridge! Very interesting and cannot imagine this until I read your post.

I'm glad that I learnt something new today... :)

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more November 5, 2012 at 2:01 PM  

It is yummy

KT and Annoymous,
Thanks for the explanation. But I don't comsume any porridge left unchilled for more than 12 hours due to the risk of aflatoxin.
If you look at the picture of my rice porridge before frying, it's is very thick. I had to add more water as I fry it.

cynmaine's mum,
As this dish requires wok hei, make sure you don't use a non stick wok to do it. The porridge gets the uumph from the initial browning of meat, if that is not done properly, the porridge will not be that flavourful.

Chef and Sommelier,
Great to hear that!

Lite Home Bake November 5, 2012 at 9:18 PM  

I remember watching that episode, and it did come across as very interesting :) Can consider trying now that you shared how it is to be done, thanks!

lena November 5, 2012 at 9:26 PM  

this is indeed something quite extraordinary! but i dont quite understand what's their purpose for frying the porridge in the wok.. can get 'wok hei' meh? hehe..

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more November 5, 2012 at 11:22 PM  

Lite Home Bake,
I hope u like it. I have this knack for cracking recipes, haha, very addictive!

The wok hei comes from the initial browning of meat. If that step tak jadi, whole bowl porridge won't be nice, just like any other porridge with all those stuff, plus a drizzling of soy sauce, no wok hei whatsoever.

Anonymous,  November 7, 2012 at 10:51 AM  

Wendy that looks AMAZING!! I've never tried fried porridge before but right now I'm totally drooling over this! Would really love to give it a try.

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