In my growing up years, whenever I fell ill, my dad would take me to see a doctor. To him, a good doctor would be one who would give an injection for instant relief and recovery. Shudders!!! Otherwise he would say that was a lousy doctor and he would never take me there ever again.

My mum would cook porridge for me to eat, mixed with either Bovril or Marmite – those were the days when we were a British colony, remember? She would fry one or chio (ikan bawal hitam/black pomfret)…

…tear the meat into bits and pieces and sprinkle them all over the porridge and there would also be salted eggs as well. That would be my diet everytime I fell sick so much so that on days when I was not sick and we had porridge, I would also feel that I was under the weather. If I am not wrong, in psychology, this is called behavioral conditioning – we studied about this in ELT (English Language Teaching).

I think this went on till my late teenage days when my friends and I would go dancing at the SRC (Sibu Recreation Club) after which we would go to the hawker stalls on the 1st Floor of the Sibu Central Market, opposite the Palace Theatre in between Market Road & High Street at the time, for supper and we would have porridge. I cannot remember what else we had with the porridge, just the plain fried kangkong (water spinach)…

…that we would order without fail. I wouldn’t know if we were so hungry after all that partying or it was really so very nice.

Years later, when I was living in Kuching, after our dances at places like the Jubilee Hall, we would head to this section of the Open Air Market…

…and yes, no prize for guessing what we had there. Porridge!!! LOL!!! Of course, by then, I had got over this thing about feeling sick everytime I had porridge. As a matter of fact, I actually developed a liking for it so to this very day, I sure wouldn’t mind having that at home on some days.

I blogged about having it for breakfast in the early morning here and also, here and it so happened that the other day, my missus said we would be having porridge for our meals. My girl was delighted – unlike me in my younger days, she enjoys porridge very much.

We had this dish of pork belly steamed with long kiam hu (the fermented salted fish) and ginger…

…and my missus also fried some salted vegetables…

…with marinated pork belly…

We had salted eggs…

…too but this batch was not so much to my liking – they were too salty. Thankfully, they were quite edible – sometimes, the salted eggs turned out so horrible, looking like agar agar in a sickly colour and they had to be thrown away.

I had my porridge with Bovril but actually, it would be nice enough with the sauce from either the pork belly or the salted vegetable dish. My girl enjoys her porridge plain, eaten together with the two dishes that the mum cooked but she did not touch the salted egg – I guess she is not into that so much. I did not see my missus taking out her tau ju (fermented tofu) – she loves eating her porridge with that; perhaps she had run out and there wasn’t any in the fridge.

What about you all? Do you enjoy porridge too? What do you like to eat with it? Pig’s blood, perhaps?…

I sure would love that! LOL!!!

Author: suituapui

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

17 thoughts on “Conditioning…”

  1. All the dishes your missus dished out are absolutely great to go with porridge or rice. Sometimes for a change, I do cook porridge from leftover rice instead of fried rice. I am very satisfied if I have long kiam hu, salted eggs, tau ju or canned pickled veg. to eat with my porridge. Simple and yet delicious.

    1. Yes, I would prefer not too much of the salted and preserved stuff though. I like fried fish with it and chicken or pork fried with ginger in soy sauce go well with porridge too. The sauce/gravy goes well with it.

  2. The salted eggs looks fresh, reddish in colour… over here in US, they paled in comparison but still buy cos we need them for porridge too… hahaha… I cook porridge at least once a week here, either plain or with peanuts and meat in one pot…

    1. Autumn now, getting colder, I guess. Great to have hot porridge…but may need to go to the washroom often. It’s all water. LOL!!!

      I don’t mind omelette with porridge, no need for salted eggs. Best not to eat too much of these salted, preserved things.

  3. mum also insisted we eat porridge when we were sick and it was torture for me! Though I am now quite OK to eat plain porridge with dishes. It is my partner’s favorite.

    1. LOL!!! Looks like it was every kid’s nightmare, forced to eat porridge when sick and that was not all. There would be a whole lot of things that we were not allowed to eat, depending on the sickness. Yes, I’m fine with porridge now too.

  4. Of course I do!
    Rice congee is a Teochew dish and I am half Teochew. 🙂
    It’s a comfort food and easy to make.
    Teochew folks like to have lots of small dishes of salted meat, pickles etc to go with their porridge.
    Have you tried Teochew’s fish porridge before?

    1. I love Teochew porridge! Plain porridge with a few of the dishes selected from the buffet spread, not sure if we have that here or not. The problem is I may get carried away and asked for a lot of this and that and the total can be quite alarming.

      The last time I had it was at a coffee shop opposite Low Yat Plaza in Bukit Bintang, KL. Of course I asked for the pig’s blood! Drool! Drool!

      Never tried fish porridge but I’ve seen the stall somewhere, can’t remember where now. They hang the fish up all over, pek chio/white pomfret/ikan bawal putih. Dunno how much they’re selling the porridge but the fish costs a bomb!!!

  5. When I was sick, my mom will steamed minced pork with egg to go with plain porridge for me. Hubby and I love porridge but my father-in-law will only eat once in a while. If too often, he will complain that he has no energy because porridge is all water. For me, any porridge is good. I love it plain or with meat added to it. The dishes your missus cooked are great for porridge. No, we do not eat pig’s blood.

    1. Steamed minced pork with soy sauce and egg is one of our main dishes in our regular meals. My missus also cooks that all the time, at one time so often that I got so sick of it. LOL!!!

      Oh? My dad was like your father-in-law – he always complained that eating porridge, he would get hungry after a while, all water. Maybe that was why we did not eat it so often but always when somebody fell sick.

      My girl loves the meat/pork bone porridge the mum cooks.

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