My Mom is a huge fan of soupy dishes so you’re probably going to see many, many porridge/ poached rice/ pao fan/ noodle soup recipes on this blog, such as this warming ginger chicken soup recipe (made with coconut water!) and this Singapore Hainanese Chicken Porridge recipe. This fish porridge with pumpkin recipe is one that I adapted from a Shangri- La Hotel Shang Palace recipe to make it suitable for daily home cooking. (In case you’re not familiar with Shangri-La, it’s an Asian chain of luxury hotels.) The pumpkin gives the porridge a beautiful golden hue and makes it look especially appetising, as well as bulking up the porridge. (Usually people get hungry quite soon after eating rice porridge but the thickness of this pumpkin porridge means that you stay full for quite some time.)
Changes to the original pumpkin and seafood poached rice recipe
The original Shangri-La Hotel pumpkin poached rice recipe calls for chicken stock powder, but I prefer to use natural ingredients in my cooking, so I substituted the chicken bouillon powder with sugar and light soya sauce. (Most vintage Singaporean cookbooks use MSG but my Uncle, who was Perankan and a fantastic home cook, always used sugar whenever recipes called for MSG.)
I also pared down the steps and ingredients to the basics to make it more accessible for everyday home cooking- for example, the original recipe calls for crabmeat, but I seldom buy crabs so I always cook this pumpkin porridge without it- don’t worry, the chicken stock, seasoning and dried scallops make it sufficiently tasty! You can add the crabs on special occasions as well as other types of seafood, such as prawns and abalone- I add them to the broth when I add the fish (i.e. last stage of cooking).
Easy fish porridge with pumpkin recipe
- 80 g Thai jasmine rice This makes about 5 (Chinese) bowls of porridge, so I've indicated it as serving 2 people but of course it depends on how much you eat!
- 2 dried scallops (conpoy)
- 4 cups chicken stock Add more chicken stock/ water if you feel the porridge is too thick
- 350 g pumpkin (kabocha), cubed
- 250 g garoupa fillet You can substitute with other types of white fish
- 1 spring onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt Or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon light soya sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon Cornflour
- 1/2 tablespoon Chinese shaoxing wine
- Cook rice as per normal in a rice cooker.
- Whilst rice is cooking, rinse then soak dried scallops in about 1/2 Cup of hot water to help them soften (covered).
- Marinate the fish fillets with the salt, cornflour sugar and light soy sauce. After marinating for 30 minutes (in the fridge), slice the fish thinly and set aside.
- Steam the pumpkin till soft then mash it up with a fork. (You could also skip the arm workout and blitz it in the blender.) Alternatively, you can microwave the pumpkin (with a bit of water) till it becomes soft – about 5 minutes at 800W.
- Bring the chicken stock to the boil, add the dried scallops and allow to boil for a few minutes, then add the pumpkin and rice to the stock and lower the heat to a simmer. Stir till well-mixed then add the shaoxing wine. Taste and season with salt if necessary. (If you are using unsalted homemade chicken stock, salting is crucial here.)
- Bring back to the boil then add the fish (and other seafood if using), simmer till cooked.
- Garnish with spring onions before serving.
If you try this easy fish porridge with pumpkin recipe, let me know what you think in the comments or tag me @greedygirlgourmet on Instagram!