All my Chinese-American friends share with me the love of this comfort food, in which a small bit of rice is cooked with either plain water or broth into a soothing porridge. Once it is made, any type of food or flavouring you choose can be added to make this a satisfying light treat. For example,
Bring the water to the boil in a large pot and add the rice and salt. Let the rice come back to the boil and give it several good stirs. Then turn the heat down to low and partially cover the pot. Let the rice simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The result will be a rather thick rice porridge, for most of the water will be absorbed in the cooking. Then add your chosen flavouring and simmer for a further 5 minutes uncovered. Just before serving, add the spring onions and fresh coriander. Serve it at once.
If you like, the porridge can be made in advance. In this case, reheat it slowly and simply add some more water if the porridge is too thick.
© 1998 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.