Porridge is a very common breakfast menu both in Indonesia and Singapore. As a matter of fact, it s not just served as breakfast nowadays, but also as lunch and dinner menu. In Jakarta, there are even some restaurants that sell porridge that open 24 hours a day. So basically, we can always have porridge anytime we want.
There are lots of porridge varieties in Indonesia, and usually every province has its own porridge creation as their signature dish, and they are totally different than the porridge that we usually know. They have different cooking method, many toppings that you will never see in the usual porridge, and they absolutely have different taste than the usual porridge that we used to eat.
In Singapore, we usually bought porridge from the wet market near our house because it was an easy breakfast and we could finish it quickly, but soon we got tired of the taste. It didn’t taste as good as the porridge that we had in our home town, but we had no choice since it was the nearest from our house and the earliest food stall that open on weekends.
Then I decided to buy a slow cooker so I could make my own porridge and chose what toppings that I wanted on top of my porridge.
Cooking porridge in a slow cooker is very easy and convenient. I prepare the rice at around 11 pm and in the morning (at around 8 am), our breakfast is ready and I just have to prepare the toppings. It tastes so good because I also make the chicken broth by myself using a slow cooker too, and since then, we never buy porridge anymore.
Our favorite porridge is chicken porridge and my husband and I always crowd the porridge with so many toppings that we like. The standard chicken porridge in Jakarta (especially the yummy ones from street vendors) is always crowded with generous toppings that sometimes it is hard to see the porridge under the toppings. We have to dig in to find the porridge lies beneath the so many toppings on top of it. But that is our favorite porridge since we grew up with that. So no wonder that my husband likes it so much when I cook porridge (as he said it is very delicious) and the three of us agreed that it is better than the ones we used to buy. We can even eat in bigger portions than what we usually had outside.
My son who didn’t like porridge so much as we did, happened to like the porridge that we bought to him in our trip to Malang, East Java. One of it was chicken porridge with chicken in sweet soy sauce and fried wanton skin. So when we came back, I made this kind of porridge for him and thankfully everyone enjoyed it.
By the way, in Jakarta and some other cities in Indonesia, porridge is always served with keropok (shrimp crackers, rice crackers, melinjo crackers), or even fried wanton skin. That is what I miss when buying porridge in here…………………no crunchy crackers…………..
*I make this porridge recipe in big batch (breakfast for 3 people, for two days)* If you have leftover porridge, put in a fridge and reheat using a steamer.
Making porridge with slow cooker
The basic measurement for making porridge with a slow cooker is 1:10. It means 1 cup of rice to 10 cups of chicken broth (or 5 cups of chicken broth and 5 cups of water). The more chicken broth you use, the more delicious your porridge will be. It is no use making good toppings if the porridge tastes bland. So it is very important to cook good porridge then you can add any toppings that you want later on. That is why its is also necessary to make good chicken broth before using it to cook the porridge.
By the way, my slow cooker is 5 L so I always make the chicken broth in big batches. You can always adjust the measurement according to the capacity of your slow cooker. For 2 L of water, it is best to add chicken bones (feet, neck, head, wings) from 1 whole chicken
To make chicken broth
- Chicken bones from 2 to 3 chickens
- 4 L water
- 1 large onion, cut 4
- 1 red onion or 3 shallots, cut 2
- 2 garlic, crush
- Put all the ingredients in slow cooker
- Set to low
- Cook for 6 hours
- Take 10 cups of the broth and store the rest in the freezer (divide into smaller portions in zip lock bags)
To make porridge
- 1 cup of rice (about 200 ml), wash
- 10 cups of chicken broth (about 2 L). You can always use only water or combine both water and chicken broth
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker
- Set to low
- Cook for 6 to 8 hours (depending on the slow cooker). Stir occasionally every 3 hours (not necessarily but it would be better if you can do this)
If you do not have slow cooker or rice cooker that can cook porridge, then there is another way to make porridge. If I only have to make small portion (usually when my husband or my son is not feeling well and I have to quickly prepare the food so they can eat as soon as possible, and there is no time for cooking the porridge in the slow cooker), than I will use a big non stick pan. Why non stick pan? Because it is easier to wash as the rice will not stick to the bottom of the pan. I used a pot before, but it was so sticky and I had difficulty cleaning it thoroughly.
The best thing is to use cooked rice as they will turn into porridge more quickly than using uncooked rice from the beginning. I’ve made porridge several times in this way before, and it tasted really good too.
How to make porridge with non stick pan
- Prepare 1 cup of rice and place it in a non stick pan
- Prepare at least 5 cups of water or chicken broth
- Add 3 cups of water or chicken broth into the pan
- Cook while stirring the rice occasionally
- Add water or chicken broth when there is only a small amount of water but the rice hasn’t turned into porridge (one cup or less at a time)
- When the rice almost turn into porridge, keep stirring until it is thoroughly cooked into porridge
How to make porridge topping (chicken and mushroom in sweet soy sauce)
* the mushroom is optional (chicken porridge usually do not add mushrooms as the toppings)*
- 200 gr chicken, minced or cut in 1 cm x 1 cm
- 6 garlic, minced
- 2 shiitake mushrooms, cut into small pieces so they resemble the small cut of the chickens
- 10 spring onion, minced
- 150 to 200 ml chicken broth or water
- 1/2 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp sweet soy sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- salt to taste
- Heat a pan with 1 tbsp cooking oil and add garlic. Stir fry until aromatic
- Add chickens, cook and stir until they turn color and break apart
- Add mushrooms, stir fry for about 1 minute
- Add the sauce (oyster sauce, sweet soy sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil). Mix well with the chicken mixture
- Add 150 ml chicken broth and cook until the chickens are soft.Add salt if necessary. Add more chicken broth if you want more sauce
- Turn off the heat. Place in a bowl
Other topping options for the porridge:
- Cakwe / Yao Tiau (it’s a must when eating porridge)
- Fried shallot
- Fried garlic
- Minced celery
- Minced spring onion
- Fried anchovy
- Tung Cai or Tianjin Preserved Vegetables (my favorite)
- Chicken floss, beef floss, fish floss (abon ayam/sapi/ikan)
- Keropok (rice crackers or shrimp crackers)
- Emping / melinjo cracker
- Salted egg / telur asin
- Fried wanton skin
- Chili, soy sauce, etc
How to serve:
- Add porridge to a serving plate or a bowl
- Add topping on top of the porridge
- Serve hot