I prefer porridge cooked Cantonese style which has a smooth and silky texture. But there is an exception - fish porridge. I love the way the Teochews cook their fish porridge - chunky fish fillet with grainy al-dante rice in clear soup.
Recently I had this awesome pomfret porridge at the authentic Swa Garden Teochew restaurant. It was so delicious that I kept thinking about it, days after my meal there. Everything was so good from the very fresh pomfret, the clear but yet flavourful broth to the crispy bites of fried sole fish. So yummy and healthy, I can have it everyday! My only dislike - the price tag. The bowl of pomfret porridge at Swa Garden set me back $80!
So I decided to replicate this dish at home for my family last Sunday using my Le Creuset (LC) Marmite pot. I just love using the LC Marmite to cook Asian dishes. Besides distributing the heat fast and evenly, the sloped sides eliminates sharp corners making stirring and tossing more efficient and effective. It holds the warmth so well that the pomfret porridge was still piping hot until the last drop.
But I have to be fair, it did not take us long to clear the entire pot of porridge. Trust me, this was soul-good!
2 medium Pomfret (About 300-400gram each) or 1 big pomfret
1.5 litre chicken broth
2 dried sole fish
1 dried cuttlefish
40g dried scallop
3 slices old ginger (Cut into fine julienne)
2 cups Jasmine Rice
1 tsp Winter Vegetable (冬菜), rinsed
Light Soy Sauce
A handful of coriander
Rinse and cook rice in rice cooker. Loosen the cooked rice, set aside and cool.
Fillet the pomfret into squares, about 5x5 cm. Keep the bones and fins. Season the pomfret fillet with half tsp fish sauce, half tsp light soya sauce, white pepper and 1 tsp of corn flour. Set aside.
Using a pair of scissors, remove the quill (cartilage) of the dried cuttlefish. Cut into strips about 3 cm long and 2mm thick. Soak cuttlefish strips in hot water until soft. Drain and set aside. Keep the soaking liquid.
Soak dried scallop in hot water. Drain and peel scallop into small pieces. Keep the soaking liquid.
Cut the dried sole fish length wise into 2 and then finger wide, about 4x2 cm each. Deep fry the sole in pot of oil until golden and crispy. Do not burn. Set aside. Crush half of the portion to smaller pieces or powder form.
Heat up 2 tablespoon of oil in the cast iron pot. Add the cuttlefish strips and shredded scallops. Stir fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add chicken broth and the soaking liquid. Bring to a full boil.
Add pomfret fillets, bones, ginger julienne, crushed sole fish and winter vegetable. Let the soup boils again.
Add in cooked rice and give it a good stir to separate the rice grains. The last step should not take long. The rice is already cooked and you do not want to overcook the fish. Season with soy sauce and pepper.
Topped with the remaining crispy fried sole fish and coriander leaves. Serve immediately.