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Vegetarian rice porridge

Ven. Chang Fa from the Zhu Lin Jing Yuan Temple in Melaka prepares this porridge every Chinese New Year for devotees and visitors, and very kindly shared this recipe with Periuk pal Grace Wong so she could recreate it at home. Preparing the separate ingredients is a slightly fiddly affair, but the payoff is a truly velvety, savoury porridge.

Vegetarian rice porridge

by Ven. Chang Fa

Ven. Chang Fa from the Zhu Lin Jing Yuan Temple in Melaka prepares this porridge every Chinese New Year for devotees and visitors, and very kindly shared this recipe with Periuk pal Grace Wong so she could recreate it at home. Preparing the separate ingredients is a slightly fiddly affair, but the payoff is a truly velvety, savoury porridge.

Servings: 4

Servings: 4

½ cup rice

2 tsp salt

¼ cup shelled peanuts

8 dried shiitake mushrooms

12 dried straw mushrooms

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2″ ginger, sliced into matchsticks

2 slices vegetarian ham, cut into small chunks

½ medium carrot, very finely diced

2 tbsp preserved radish, minced

500ml water

1 handful fatt choy (发菜 or hair vegetable)

2 tsp mushroom seasoning

  1. Wash the rice and soak with water and 1 tsp of salt for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Rinse and soak the peanuts in a separate bowl overnight as well.
  3. The next day, boil the peanuts with 1 tsp of salt over medium heat for at least 3 hours to soften. The peanuts should hold their shape when done, but able to be smushed between two fingers easily.
  4. While the peanuts are boiling, soak the dried shiitake mushrooms and dried straw mushrooms with hot water in separate bowls.
  5. Heat a pan over medium heat. Pour in the vegetable oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the sliced ginger and fry until it begins to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  6. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Using the same pan as the ginger, fry the ham until it begins to take on colour, about 5 minutes or so. Turn off the heat, remove the ham from the pan and set aside.
  7. Soak the fatt choy in hot water.
  8. Drain the shiitake and straw mushrooms from their soaking liquids, but keep the (strained) liquid from the straw mushrooms. Clean both the soaked mushrooms well and chop into small pieces.
  9. In a medium-large pot, add the soaked rice, finely diced carrots, and 500ml water. Stir well, then turn the heat up to high. Bring the pot to a boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, turn the heat down to simmer at medium-low. Continue cooking the porridge for a further 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom.
  10. Add the peanuts, both types of mushrooms, fried ginger, fried ham chunks, preserved radish, and soaked fatt choy into the porridge and stir well. Continue cooking for another 20-30 minutes, adding hot water to the pot as needed if the porridge seems too thick.
  11. Once the porridge is cooked to its desired texture and consistency, season with mushroom seasoning. Stir well, then serve hot.

Tips

  • A pressure cooker can significantly cut down the time needed to cook the peanuts. If using this method, cover the peanuts with water, then set the pressure cooker at high pressure for about 45 minutes. Let it depressurise naturally. If the peanuts still need softening, boil it in an open pot until done; this should not take longer than a further 30 minutes.

Ingredients

½ cup rice

2 tsp salt

¼ cup shelled peanuts

8 dried shiitake mushrooms

12 dried straw mushrooms

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2″ ginger, sliced into matchsticks

2 slices vegetarian ham, cut into small chunks

½ medium carrot, very finely diced

2 tbsp preserved radish, minced

500ml water

1 handful fatt choy (发菜 or hair vegetable)

2 tsp mushroom seasoning

Directions

  1. Wash the rice and soak with water and 1 tsp of salt for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Rinse and soak the peanuts in a separate bowl overnight as well.
  3. The next day, boil the peanuts with 1 tsp of salt over medium heat for at least 3 hours to soften. The peanuts should hold their shape when done, but able to be smushed between two fingers easily.
  4. While the peanuts are boiling, soak the dried shiitake mushrooms and dried straw mushrooms with hot water in separate bowls.
  5. Heat a pan over medium heat. Pour in the vegetable oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the sliced ginger and fry until it begins to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  6. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Using the same pan as the ginger, fry the ham until it begins to take on colour, about 5 minutes or so. Turn off the heat, remove the ham from the pan and set aside.
  7. Soak the fatt choy in hot water.
  8. Drain the shiitake and straw mushrooms from their soaking liquids, but keep the (strained) liquid from the straw mushrooms. Clean both the soaked mushrooms well and chop into small pieces.
  9. In a medium-large pot, add the soaked rice, finely diced carrots, and 500ml water. Stir well, then turn the heat up to high. Bring the pot to a boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, turn the heat down to simmer at medium-low. Continue cooking the porridge for a further 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom.
  10. Add the peanuts, both types of mushrooms, fried ginger, fried ham chunks, preserved radish, and soaked fatt choy into the porridge and stir well. Continue cooking for another 20-30 minutes, adding hot water to the pot as needed if the porridge seems too thick.
  11. Once the porridge is cooked to its desired texture and consistency, season with mushroom seasoning. Stir well, then serve hot.

Tips

  • A pressure cooker can significantly cut down the time needed to cook the peanuts. If using this method, cover the peanuts with water, then set the pressure cooker at high pressure for about 45 minutes. Let it depressurise naturally. If the peanuts still need softening, boil it in an open pot until done; this should not take longer than a further 30 minutes.

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© Copyright Periuk 2021

© Copyright Periuk 2021

 
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