Welcome year 2021!
Happy new year! We have all been waiting for this fresh start more than ever. I wish you all a brighter and healthier ahead.
I grew up in a family with a lot of superstition. To name a few, do not sing while cooking because you will never meet a husband or wife; Do not sweep at night, otherwise you’re sweeping out all the good luck. Some sound silly, but it’s your choice to believe it or not. This New year, I felt a little “superstitious”. Food of good luck known to cause good health, happiness and wealth. Why not? We usually don’t do a lavish celebration for New Year’s eve. Instead, we opt for a quiet, cozy and nice sparkling wine in our hand in front of our TV as we watch the count down. On New year’s day, a bowl of yummy rice gingery porridge for breakfast. For dinner, Black-eyed peas, rainbow chard and steamed rice. This is our traditional New Year’s Day.
Rice, a symbol of nourishment, health and life. The round yin and yang black-eyed peas symbolize prosperity, a coin of wealth. Rainbow chard? Rainbow,. there is that undeniable effect of enchantment. The view is always breathtaking and exciting. I remember when I was a kid, my mother used to tell me, “there’s a pot of gold at the foot of that rainbow”, but what mesmerizes me the most was the feeling of serenity and peace just by watching it. It’s only human nature to focus on the good as the new year rolls around, that is why we ate certain food to enjoy and share with our family. Marking New Year’s Day with faith for a great year-round. After 2020, we all want health, wealth and a lot of good luck. Am I being too superstitious thinking these foods are more auspicious than other food?
Superstitious or not, this food ritual is not only fun but absolutely delicious and your body will love you more. One of my favorite rice dish is RICE PORRIDGE.
An old friend of mine once told me, we call rice porridge Lugaw when we’re in the Philippines, in Hongkong we call it Congee, and here in Canada we call it White soup. It is named differently with different varieties, but in its simplest form, it is rice boiled in a large amount of liquid until it softens and starts to break apart. Anything you put in it is what makes it special. This gingery rice porridge has a nourishing, soothing, and comforting effect that can rival chicken soup. It is our favorite breakfast, something we crave for when we’re not feeling well, under the weather, upset stomach or during cold and hazy days. To make it more nourishing use chicken stock/broth, this what makes a homemade chicken stock or chicken broth important. Ingredients are not hard to find, don’t need special attention and if you have a pressure cooker or an instant pot that makes life even easier and happier, makes it better.
Why ginger? According to Michael Tierra, author of “the way of herbs”, ginger is one of the most powerful, versatile herbal stimulants. Also, Rosalee De la Foret from the Alchemy of herbs said, Ginger especially affects the respiratory system, digestive system, circulatory system and it is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
If you are longing for comfort and nourishment, have a bowl of this gingery rice porridge, top with thinly sliced scallion and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Want more, add a cooked salted duck egg and crumbled crispy prosciutto, it is so divine!
GINGERY RICE PORRIDGE
- pressure cooker/ instant pot if available
- 1 Cup Jasmine rice (any white rice)- rinsed
- 2" ginger- thinly julienne + 1 Tbsp finely grated
- 8-9 Cups chicken stock (see note)
- Fish sauce, salt and pepper to taste
- Sliced scallion, boiled eggs, crispy prosciutto (see note)
- Place 7 cups of chicken stock in a lidded medium-large pot and bring to a boil on high heat. Add the rice and julienne ginger, lower the heat to low; put the lid on and let it simmer for one hour or according to your desired consistency, stirring once in a while. If it gets too thick, add the remaining chicken stock. For the last 10 minutes, add the remaining grated ginger, season with fish sauce and or salt and pepper to taste. serve with sliced scallions and any toppings of your choice. (see note)
Using Pressure cooker
- Put 6 cups chicken stock, 1 cup rice and the julienne ginger in the pot. Seal the pot and pressure cook at high pressure for 30 Minutes+ natural release. Open the lid carefully.
- Using the sautee function, stir the porridge, add more chicken stock for desired consistency. Season with fish sauce or salt and pepper. Serve immediately with sliced scallions and any toppings of your choice.