Packed with antioxidants, this turmeric ginger pepper porridge is the ultimate comfort food for rainy days, when you are feeling ill, or to simply boost your immunity. As Cheryl says, “There’s a comforting sense of nostalgia about porridge. Every Asian child has fond memories of being nursed back to health with a bowl of porridge, by their mother or grandparent or both.
“To put it simply, porridge is pure love and there is nothing more effective than the power of love”. This recipe is for chicken porridge, but there are easy swaps given if you want to make the recipe vegetarian or vegan.
Recipe by Cheryl Miles, Radio DJ on ONE FM 91.3 and author of cookbook “Smitten in the Kitchen, 60 Recipes for Love”. The recipe originally appeared on her website here
- Large knob of ginger, about 80g, skin removed and sliced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 shallots, sliced
- 3 tbsps dried shrimp (omit for vegan option)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 cups rice
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 10–12 cups water, adjust accordingly
- 1 cup raw peanut with skin on
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 3 cubes chicken stock (or cubed vegan stock)
- 1 kg chicken breast,flattened into a butterfly cut
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
Slice ginger and shallots. Mince garlic. Drizzle sesame oil into a large cast iron pot, wok or stock pot. On medium high heat, sauté the ginger, garlic and shallots. If using dried shrimps, add this to the mix and fry until fragrant. Add the rice and toast lightly with turmeric powder before adding 6 cups of water. Add the peanuts.
Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for a total of 1 hr and 15 mins, or until you get a gruel-like consistency. Gradually add more water a cup at a time once the rice has absorbed the liquids. Stir periodically to ensure it doesn’t burn at the bottom. Add the pepper and cubed chicken/vegetable stock.
Top with oven-roasted chicken breast or stir-fried firm tofu (also known as tau kwa) for a vegan option. If using uncooked chicken (boneless is recommended), you can chunk it into the pot as the rice is cooking.
Serve with fresh coriander, or spring onion and crispy shallots or even pea sprouts.
First, butterfly the chicken breast. This means cutting the breast through the middle so it is not so thick. The seasoning will be evenly distributed, and the chicken cooks faster.
Roast chicken breast in the oven, covered for 20 mins, at 220 C/430 F. Leave covered to rest for 15 mins before slicing. Any chicken you have left over after this porridge can be kept for 3-5 days in the fridge. Use in salads, sandwiches or noodle dishes and rice bowls.
TIP For vegans, replace the chicken with tofu or just enjoy with the peanuts. Omit the dried shrimp and use vegan stock instead.