Brown Rice Fish Porridge

Rain finally started coming after a period of pretty intense drought. Yay rain!

Rain

With the rain and gloomy weather, it’s weird how the body just craves for something contrasting. The little change in wind and weather has such an impact on our appetites and what we see as season-appropriate. The nuance in the air can affect us more that we even realize.

Since it feels a little cooler these days, I thought it’s seemly to share a simple brown rice porridge recipe today. I’m using organic brown rice here for the nutritional benefits as well as the chew factor. I also like how the grains still retain their shape somewhat after simmering because their outer skin, bran, holds the grains together albeit barely. They’re really pretty, you’ll see.

So for this kinda simple dinner, we would need Brown Rice, Ginger, Water, Salt, Pepper, Fish Sauce, Fish Fillet & Spring Onions!
Brown Rice Fish Porridge 1

I like to go a full 8:1 ratio (in volume) for water:rice. You can adjust according to your preference. Some like it real thick, some like it watery, some want to play it safe and make it watery first then reduce the liquids until it gets thick. You do you.
Brown Rice Fish Porridge 2

I think the grains look like little white flowers, don’t you think?
This porridge will seem thinner than regular porridge because brown rice doesn’t disintegrate and melt into the water as easily as white rice. I kinda like how it turned out.
Brown Rice Fish Porridge 3

I only add the marinated fish slices just as we want to eat so the fish doesn’t get overcooked sitting in the hot porridge and then breaks into a million shards.
Brown Rice Fish Porridge 4

You can pretty much garnish this with anything.
Brown Rice Fish Porridge 5

I went for spring onions, thinly sliced fresh ginger & my favourite fermented beancurd (fu yue or 南乳).
Brown Rice Fish Porridge 6

Just a very warming, simple dinner that is easy to digest yet really fills us the belly.
Brown Rice Fish Porridge 7

Makes me feel a little better knowing that I’m not merely ingesting a bowl of empty carbs.
Brown Rice Fish Porridge 8

It went really well with sirfried napa cabbage  which added a sweetness to the whole meal.
Brown Rice Fish Porridge 9

If you’re tired of the grease-heavy stews or time-consuming braises on a cold day, try this low maintenance brown rice porridge. Perfect for comforting those with the sniffles too ;-).

If you like fish porridge, I’ve posted another one here before using leftover rice:
Salmon Rice Porridge 10Salmon Congee

signature

Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” {James 5:11}

Line divider

Brown Rice Fish Porridge
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Brown Rice, rinsed
  • 4 cups Water
  • 3 slices Ginger
  • 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 5oz or 150gm skinless Fish fillet (any firm white fish will do)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Pepper
  • ½ tbsp Corn Starch
  • 1 tsp Shallot Oil (or Sesame Oil)
  • thinly sliced Ginger & Spring Onions (for garnishing)
Steps
  1. Pour rinsed brown rice into a deep pot together with water. Toss in ginger slices and fish sauce. Bring up to a boil. Partially cover and reduce to a simmer. Leave to cook away for 30 minutes, stirring every so often and watching that it doesn't overflow.
  2. Meanwhile, slice fish fillet into 1 inch slices. Stir with salt, pepper & shallot or sesame oil.
  3. Sprinkle in corn starch and stir until evenly mixed, taking care not to break up fish slices. Store in fridge until ready to use.
  4. Once porridge is cooked to your liking and ready to be served, bring heat up to a slightly quicker simmer.
  5. Drop in slices of fish & carefully stir porridge to prevent scorching. Fish is cooked when it becomes totally flaky, taking only about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Ladle into warm bowls & top with ginger, spring onions & your favourite toppings!

Cold Scallion Soba

Buckwheat. It’s a pretty interesting grain nut thing that I can’t seem to find whole. I can get the flour pretty easily but apart from making bread from it once, I never used it again. (I really want to make Linzer Torte with it one day!) I really should use this amazing flour in bread now that I’m in a crazy breadmaking spree. Anyway, the most common way I tend to enjoy that nutty flavour is in the form of soba noodles.

And soba is one of the dozen different types of Japanese noodles I can’t get enough of. The thing with soba is that it’s so good both cold or hot. Because buckwheat doesn’t have much gluten in it, soba noodles tend to be less sticky compared to those fully made of wheat flour. I think that could be why they stay chewy even when served cold, with the signature soy dipping sauce in a Zaru Soba.

I wanted a less messy, communal way of having soba cold for dinner with my family. Nami of Just One Cookbook has tons of reliable Japanese recipes and her Soba Salad really stood out to me! (Pssst… I link to her fresh seafood store on the right. Go check it out!) This soba recipe is sooooo simple. You barely need any culinary skills, probably aside from knowing when the soba is cooked enough, to whip this up. Also because this is served cold, it’s the perfect make-ahead dish.

We need Soba Noodles, Scallions, Ginger, Chili Flakes, Sesame Seeds, Honey, Sesame Oil, Vegetable Oil, Soy Sauce & Fish Sauce.
Cold Scallion Soba 1

While the noodles is cooking to al dente, it’s just about the right time to make the seasoning sauce. This is just a suggestion. You have got to taste everything at the end cold before adjusting to your preference. I had to add a few more splashes of soy in the end.
Cold Scallion Soba 2

Cool colours!
Cold Scallion Soba 3

We MUST stop the noodles cooking once they are done lest they get soggy. Ice water in a HUGE bowl does the trick.
Cold Scallion Soba 4

Separate the strands. The noodles wouldn’t stick together but this helps it to cool down quicker.
Cold Scallion Soba 5

Lets go all in!
Cold Scallion Soba 6

This doesn’t look like much but remember, sesame oil smells amazing with the scallions.
Cold Scallion Soba 7

Aren’t the black flecks visually pleasing? (I was trying to use some word other than pretty… think I got it?)
Cold Scallion Soba 8

Cover this bowl up and stick it in the fridge until dinner time.
Cold Scallion Soba 9

Chopsticks mandatory.
Cold Scallion Soba 10
Give it time to soak in all that seasoning.
Cold Scallion Soba 11

You can take this a million different routes.

Leftover beef stirfry? Roast chicken? Fried eggs? Toss ‘em all in and you have a nice brunch the following day.

signature

“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13)

Line divider

Cold Scallion Soba
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Noodle Salad
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 4-5
Ingredients
  • 6-9 oz (2-3 bundles) Soba (Buckwheat Noodles)
  • ⅔ cup Spring Onions/Scallions, sliced thinly
  • 3 tbsp Sesame Seeds (I used black)
  • 1 tbsp Canola or Grapeseed oil
  • 3 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • ½ tsp Chili Flakes (more if you like it spicier)
  • 3 tbsp Honey
  • 5 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce (optional)
Steps
  1. Cook the soba noodles in unsalted boiling water until al dente.
  2. Fill a big bowl with cold water and some ice cubes. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, stir together the honey, sesame oil, canola oil, soy sauce & fish sauce in a large serving dish.
  4. Sprinkle in scallions, sesame seeds & chili flakes.
  5. Once the noodles are ready, drain and rinse in the bowl of cold water. Use your fingers to move the noodles around to cool the strands down quickly.
  6. Drain very well and pour into serving dish.
  7. Toss well in the sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge to cool down.
  8. Adjust seasoning when ready to serve.
  9. Great with grilled meats!

Recipe lightly adapted from: Just One Cookbook

Parsnip & Potato Fries

Who doesn’t like fries? Come on, raise your hand. Don’t be shy.

.

.

.

Yeah. No one.

EVERYONE loves fries. The only difference is who has the self control to keep to 5 fries a serving and who doesn’t. I mean, empty carbs and grease.. who needs them, right? ugh… except I wish I could convince myself that way every single time.

But no worries! If you make then with healthier ingredients and significantly less oil, it’s still alright to indulge in fries every now and again. ;-) And this recipe came into my inbox right on time!

My healthified fries is made of parsnip! And some pink potatoes that were rolling around in the crisper. Not as starchy but all goodness!
Parsnip & Potato Fries 1

In terms of oil, I went for organic coconut oil. It is now lauded for all it’s health benefits but really, I wanted the fragrance more than anything. I mean, coconut with cumin, coriander and liquorishy parsnips? You clearly know what you’re doing, Adrianna. (Psst… the red is from the base of my see-through Pyrex bowl, not any particular ingredient. Trust me, I got a fright as well.)
Parsnip & Potato Fries 2

Wanna know how to get relatively even strips of parsnips for this? Adrianna’s got you covered!
Parsnip & Potato Fries 3

I’m only grateful I don’t need to deep fry anything for fries.
Parsnip & Potato Fries 4

Note the change of pan.. :-P Better to spread everything out in one layer. And better toss a clove or two of garlic on there for the sauce!
Parsnip & Potato Fries 5

Stir midways!
Parsnip & Potato Fries 6

Even though this won’t ever become as crispy as deep fried fries (nothing would), at least I can still indulge in “fries” that won’t keep me up at night feeling guilty about. Haha!
Parsnip & Potato Fries 7

What more, the dipping sauce is merely Greek yogurt with a tiny bit of salt, lemon juice, lemon zest & awesome roasted garlic.
Parsnip & Potato Fries 8

What more can I ask for?
Parsnip & Potato Fries 9

Yup. All mine.
Parsnip & Potato Fries 10

Make good choices today! But if you want some fries every now and again, go for it. ;-)

signature

“There is a fountain filled with blood,
drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.” — William Cowper, 1800.

Line divider

Parsnip & Potato Fries
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 large Parsnip, peeled & cut into fries strips
  • 2 Pink waxy Potatoes, cut into fries strips
  • 3 tbsp Coconut oil
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves Garlic, not peeled
  • ½ cup Greek Yogurt
  • Juice and zest from ½ lemon
  • Paprika Powder
Steps
  1. Preheat oven to 400F or 200C.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, cumin, coriander, a few pinches of salt and pepper. Toss in sliced parsnips & potatoes.
  3. Spread out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Place garlic cloves on the corner of the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, tossing them at the 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
  6. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice and a few pinches of salt.
  7. When the fries are done, remove the garlic clove and slice off the tip, squeezing out the flesh. Mash with the back of a knife to form a paste.
  8. Add to the yogurt mixture and mix until smooth. Transfer into a dipping bowl.
  9. Serve fries hot with yogurt sauce on the side & a sprinkling of paprika powder.

Recipe adapted from: A Cozy Kitchen