Sweet Potato Rice Porridge Recipe

Japanese sweet potatoes and uncooked rice
Japanese sweet potatoes and uncooked rice.

Sweet potato rice porridge is another easy-to-cook meal. It is light on the tummy. When I was a kid, Mum would cook this porridge for me if my body gets heaty. The symptoms of heatiness are ulcers in the mouth and a poor appetite. In a way, the rice porridge is therapeutic as the light meal allows for better digestion which in turn allows the body to recover faster.

According to Mum, rice was a scarce commodity during the World War II. If the family had sufficient supply, they would have cooked rice, if not, it would be rice porridge. They reared poultry and pigs for meat, and also grew their own vegetables. Sweet potatoes were one of them. It was a luxury to have sweet potatoes in the porridge during those times.

With the weather now alternating from hot to humid to rainy and back, I thought it would be a good idea to have some of this porridge. Wuan could not get local sweet potatoes at the Pandan Perdana wet market. She bought some Japanese sweet potatoes instead. They are just as good although the potato was not as sweet as I had expected. One good thing about Japanese sweet potatoes is that they do not have chewy fibres like those found in the local varieties.

Sweet potato porridge
Sweet potato porridge

Sweet Potato Rice Porridge Recipe

1 cup fragrant rice
1 sweet potato
a pinch of salt (optional)

5 cups water

Peel sweet potato and cut into chunks. Rinse rice 4 or 5 times until water runs clear. Put rice and sweet potato into the automatic rice cooker. Add water. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes after the porridge begins to bubble over. Turn off the cooker and let sit for another 15 minutes. Do not open the cover until ready to serve. To be sure that the potato is thoroughly cooked, gently poke a fork into it. If the fork goes all the way in, it is cooked. The porridge can be eaten as is. Sometimes, I add some light soy sauce for taste. Serves two.

Braised Dried Oyster With Black Moss – Hou Si Fatt Choy

Braised dried oyster with black moss
Braised dried oyster with black moss – Hou Si Fatt Choy.

When I wrote about eating my last festive cuisine in 2005, I really though I would never get the opportunity to savour hou si fatt choy again. That was five years ago. From then till now, I have diligently maintained a low-protein low-purine and low-salt diet. At the same time, I perform the clean intermittent catheterisation on schedule and take Detrusitol as prescribed. Those effort has paid off. The deterioration of my renal function has stabilised.

For this Chinese New Year, Wuan and I decided to cook this auspicious dish. Most of the restaurants that we patronised for our Chinese New Year meals did not have it in their menus. We used the recipe as a guide but did not adhere to the portions strictly. After all, to me, cooking is not an exact science. As long as we get the taste right, a little bit more of this and a little less of that would not make much difference.

Wuan bought eight extra-large dried oysters, black moss and shiitake mushrooms from one of the Chinese grocery shops in Petaling Street. During one of our weekend grocery shopping trips, we bought a small bottle of oyster sauce and a bottle of thick soya sauce. The day before we were to cook the dish, Wuan bought 300gms of roasted pork belly and half a head of Chinese cabbage from the wet market in Pandan Perdana.

This dish is actually very easy to prepare. The only ingredients that need cutting are the Chinese cabbage, garlic, shallots, ginger and removing the stem from the shiitake mushrooms. Wuan got the siu yuk seller to cut the roasted pork to size. We used only four of the extra large oysters and added four smaller ones that she usually used for soups. The dish turned out nicely.

The intense aroma from the mushrooms and dried oysters that wafted from the kitchen made me salivate long before the dish was ready to be served. The mushrooms were soft. So was the black moss. Overall, we liked it very much. I am looking forward to the next Chinese New Year already so that I can get to savour this dish again. Below is the recipe we used for this time with some variations from the previous one. We hope you will enjoy it as much as we did. Bon appetit.

Hou Si Fatt Choy (Braised Dried Oysters with Black Moss)

4 extra large dried oysters,
4 dried oysters
soak in enough warm water to cover for 1 hour

20 g black moss, soak in 1 cup warm water for 30 minutes and drain
300g roasted pork, cut into 1 cm thick portions
8 large shiitake mushrooms, remove stem, soak in enough water to cover and leave overnight
1/2 head of Chinese cabbage, cut into 2″ strips

5 cloves garlic, chopped
5 shallots, chopped
3 slices ginger, bashed several times with the broad side of the kitchen knife

3 tbsp cooking oil

3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp thick soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp corn flour
a dash of sesame seed oil

Heat oil and saute garlic, shallots and ginger until fragrant. Add oyster and fry for another 1 minute. Add shitake mushrooms, roasted pork and sauces and stir fry for another minute. Add water from that the shiitake mushrooms and oysters were soaked in. Cover the kuali and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Check occasionally to ensure there is sufficient gravy. When the mushrooms becomes tender, add corn flour to thicken the gravy. Add the black moss and simmer for another 10 minutes before turning off heat. Serve with rice.

Simple Dried Prawns Rice Porridge Recipe

Hot days call for light meals. My favourite for this spell of punishing weather is rice porridge with dried prawns. It is relatively easy to cook and easy on the stomach too. I like my porridge thick. For a more diluted porridge, add another cup of water.

Simple Dried Prawns Porridge

Dried prawns and rice
Dried prawns (heh bee) and rice.

1/2 cup dried prawns (remove shell)
1 cup rice

4 cups water

1 tsp sesame seed oil per serving
white pepper powder (to taste)
light soya sauce (to taste)

Wash dried shrimps and rice throughly. Put both ingredients into automatic rice cooker and add water. Turn off the cooker when the porridge begins to bubble over. Allow the porridge to simmer in the cooker for another ten minutes. Add, sesame oil, pepper and light soya sauce to taste. The porridge is sufficient for two persons.

Dried prawns rice porridge
Dried prawns rice porridge (heh bee moi).