Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cháo/ Vietnamese Rice Porridge

Cháo is the Vietnamese version of rice porridge, if you're unfamiliar, you might recognize it as congee or jook. Some people think rice porridge is boring, but I happen to think it's comforting. It's warm, creamy and delicious. Oh, and the best part? It's e-a-s-y, which probably is the most comforting thing about it.
Usually, I eat mine with some shredded chicken, maybe some shredded pork and some fried Chinese cruton-like things. I recently saw someone eat it with a poached egg and in my head, an alarm went off, and I knew I had to try it immediately. I love all things egg and this just sounded too good to ignore!
This porridge is as simple as can be. Simply simmer some rice and chicken stock together and it's all done. This is best with homemade chicken stock, but canned or even simply water will do! Let me just say, the poached egg is a fantabulous addition! It adds this extra layer of unbelievable creaminess, mmmm creamy yolk all up in my porridge. Yum yum yum!

Cháo or Vietnamese Rice Porridge

Yields: 1 servings

For the porridge:

1 cup cooked jasmine rice

2 cups chicken stock, homemade is best!

1" piece of ginger

fish sauce, to taste

To serve:

1 green onion, sliced
1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
black pepper, to taste

1 large egg, poached (instructions below)
lemon wedges

In a large saucepan, bring the chicken stock and ginger to a boil over medium heat. Add the rice and lower the heat to medium-low and allow the mixture to simmer until the rice is soft and the liquid has thickened. Once thickened to your preference, remove the ginger. Taste the porridge, if it is already salted enough from the broth, skip the fish sauce, if it is not, add the fish sauce to your taste. To serve, divide among two bowls. Top each with a poached egg, then garnish with black pepper, green onions and cilantro. Drizzle with the lemon wedge and enjoy!
1. Bring a sauce pot filled with water to just under a boil.
2. If your water has already started to boil, lower the heat until the water is no longer boiling.
3. Crack an egg into a small bowl.
4. Add 1 tbsn. of white vinegar to the water.
5. Slowly drop the egg into the water.
6. Use a spoon to push back the egg whites onto the egg, so that it can form together.
7. Turn off the heat.
8. Cover the pot.
9. Let sit for 4 minutes, then remove the egg with a slotted spoon.


  1. I've ate congee at the restaurant where I do part time work, and it was great. Now I know how to make it! So thanks.

  2. mm this sounds delicious, love the tutorial too

  3. i love simple food like this! very hearty and comforting. it just might be my dinner tonight!

  4. Congee is a favorite comfort food of mine. This looks really satisfying :).

  5. What a perfect lunch . . . it does look warm and comforting (and delicious). Look forward to reading your blog - it seems to be an insightful mix of all my obsessions! Cheers, Michelle

  6. so gonna make this on the weekend...definitely the time of year for it!