You won’t know…

…until or unless you try.

Well, I was blogging about frying leftover rice that day when Irene, my loyal follower and regular commenter from Kuching, suggested that I could use it to cook porridge instead of frying. I think I’ve done that before, once or twice but I have never tried doing it with basmati rice. That was why when I spotted a bit leftover in the fridge yesterday morning, I quickly grabbed the chance to use it to cook porridge…

Porridge with basmati rice

My missus said that we can’t use the more expensive long grain lower glycemic index (low starch) rice to cook porridge because it will turn out to be like rice, still whole grain, drowned in soup. I do recall eating porridge like that at the Open Air Market in Kuching, the restaurant/chu-char side, in the 70’s and somebody said that was Teochew-style porridge, not gooey the way I like it. How true that was, I wouldn’t know.

These were the ingredients I had…


…at hand – some chopped garlic that I fried in oil till golden brown and used for garnishing later, a bit of cangkok manis from my garden, torn/shredded and chopped daun sup (Chinese celery). I also had the stock that my missus kept after making the fish balls using the ikan tenggiri/bay kar (mackerel) paste that I bought not too long ago. and of course, the fish balls…

Fish balls & meat balls

…as well and I took some minced meat to make a few meat balls to add to my porridge.

I boiled the stock and threw in the fish balls and the meat balls to cook before adding the rice and leaving it to simmer till I saw the gruel thicken a bit and finally, I added the cangkok manis and daun sup (Chinese celery). I could see it was very slightly starchy but no, the grains of rice were still whole…

Grain still whole

I broke an egg onto a ladle-like sieve and lowered it into the broth, taking it out once it was cooked to serve with the porridge later and I also fried the aforementioned garlic to use as garnishing…

Pao fan

…as I have mentioned earlier. I would say the rice was a bit softer and a whole lot more palatable, compared to when we eat it as rice per se.

Much to my surprise, it so happened that my friend in Kuching commented on the photograph I shared on Facebook. She said there is a Foochow stall selling this there and her daughter loves it! They call it “泡饭” (pao fang), she added and according to this blogger, “pao” 泡 means “submerging”, while “fan” 饭 refers to rice. Some restaurants call this “poached rice” and it is gaining traction in many Chinese restaurants and zi char eateries, and he insisted it is NOT porridge and should not be confused with the usual porridge. Gee! I did not know that! We sure learn new things every day, don’t we?

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

6 thoughts on “You won’t know…”

  1. The meat balls look really good. It so happened that my wife made meat balls too yesterday. 😀

    Oh? You’re going to blog about them? Any photos?

  2. Though the grains of rice is still whole in the porridge, it still looks so good especially with a whole lot of extras added in. From the usual fried rice, I think it is best to have porridge for a change.

    Indeed!!! That was a lovely change from the usual fried rice and the basmati rice is softer, more palatable. I sure would cook it like this again if there is any leftover.

  3. I also buy Basmati rice, what your wife said is true, cooking porridge is not as starchy as it turns out to be, unlike the normal rice. The long grain still appears to be long grain.. hahaha… softer no doubt…

    Oh? But it is expensive and not that nice to eat. I loved it cooked this way though so this morning, when I saw there was some more leftover, I cooked it again to enjoy one more round!

  4. Oh poached egg in porridge is something new to me, interesting. Yes Pao Fan is different from porridge and it can also be very tasty if done in the right way.

    New? They ALWAYS drop an egg in boiling meat (pork) porridge and serve. They do not do that in Singapore? Usually, pi tan (century egg) is optional.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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