If you’re not already following me on Snapchat, you should (@tiffanybeeee)…if you want to see my food pics as they happen &/or my soaping process. Very seldom I’ll post a selfie, because look, I’m not a psychopath. That’s right. Haven’t you read the study that says if you’re a man & you take a lot of selfies, you’re probably, maybe a psychopath? Yep. So, if your Snap Story is mostly of your face, I’m gonna assume you’re a narcissistic, friendless, jerk psychopath. Or maybe you’re just feeling yourself everyday, who’s to say? I used to have friends I played with on the weekends & now I just “chill”, so my weekend snaps aren’t the UNCE UNCE UNCE they used to be. Welcome to your late 20s, I guess. Anyway, let’s not be a Debbie Downer. There are enough problems in the world happening right now, so let’s take a moment to salivate rather than cry that your life is slowing slipping away from you as wrinkles form underneath your eyes. Speaking of Snapchat, my friend Laura asked me to post this recipe when she saw me snap this, so you can thank her for requesting it. This recipe can either be pescetarian friendly or vegan friendly, depending on whether you use traditional fish sauce (nước chấm) or the vegan “fish sauce”. There’s really nothing too difficult about this recipe & it’s pretty filling if you get yourself a big fat ole eggplant, but you can use Chinese eggplants if you prefer.
One of the most physically annoying things about aging is not the wrinkles & fine lines visibly showing–get on those anti-aging serums, stay out of the sun, use sunblock, moisturize daily, get ahold of some Asian genes, etc–but that agonizing pain in the back of your mandible. You know the pain I’m talking about, right? That jerk wisdom tooth who’s popping up to say, “hey gurl, sup?” & your response is, “BYE FELICIA, DISAPPEAR.” That pain. Yeahhhh, so since I can only pop so many pills of Motrin before I destroy my liver & overdose, all my food choices have been solely categorized under, “can I feed this to a baby?” and “cannot feed to baby.” Thank goodness for my random craving for cháo (also known as congee or rice porridge) a few weeks ago because it’s so easy to make & I can eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Also, it falls under the, “10/10 can feed this to a baby.” I mean, it’s not exactly healthy to be exclusively eating it because rice is not going to fulfill the essential vitamin spectrum for a healthy body, but look, my mouth hurts to chew so I’m going to choose to slurp on rice porridge. That’s where the versatility comes into play though! Dressing up porridge with your favorite ingredients will help you get over the general boringness that is porridge.
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Growing up in a Vietnamese household, the only time you ever really ate cháo or Vietnamese rice porridge, was when you were sick. I was never the biggest fan of it because it was always so plain, but now that I’m older & more adventurous with my cooking, I’m revisiting the dish. Borrowing some ingredients from other Asian countries, it’s easy to create a perfectly seasoned rice porridge/cháo/congee that’s great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Use this recipe as a base for whatever delightful protein you choose to add to it whether it’s tofu, fish, an assortment of vegetables & mushrooms, or meat.
How to Reheat: It’s best to reheat rice porridge in a small saucepan with about half a cup of broth or water & part of bouillon cube or paste. I use about a teaspoon of Hon Dashi (bonito fish stock), but you can use whatever you’d like. Reheating on the stovetop allows me to add uncooked ingredients like mushrooms, egg, or tofu. You can also do the same thing in the microwave.
- 2 cups rice
- 12 cups water
- 1 Tbsp Hon Dashi (fish stock) or any type of prepared stock base or miso
- 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 2 Tbsp wakame
- 1 knob of ginger, peeled & quartered (about 5 cm or 2″)
- 1 cup carrots, sliced (optional)
- 3 cups napa cabbage, roughly chopped (optional)
Savory Topping Ideas
- Preserved Duck Egg aka Century Egg
- Fried onions
- Soy sauce or tamari or ponzu sauce
- Tofu or any other protein
- Mushroom (shiitake or enoki are personal favorites)
- Rinse rice in a strainer until the water runs slightly milky.
- In a dutch oven or a large nonstick pot, add rice & water, Hon Dashi, soy sauce, wakame, ginger, carrots, & cabbage. Stir to mix. Place a lid over the pot & bring it to a boil on medium heat.
- When the broth comes to a boil, turn down the heat to a simmer. Lift the lid, leaving it slightly ajar so that the pot is not covered completely. Cook for an hour & 15 minutes or until the rice is soft. Stir occasionally & add more water when needed.
- Remove from heat & ladle the porridge in a bowl, topping it with your favorite ingredients.
- Whether you have short grain, long-grain, jasmine, or brown rice it doesn’t matter. You can use any rice you have on hand!
- HonDashi can be found at an Asian grocery store. It can be expensive (well worth it though, highly recommend), so a great alternative is any sort of vegetable bouillon whether it’s a paste or in little cubes.
- If you’re not a fan of wakame, try using a few 7-10 cm pieces of dried kombu. That way you can remove the kombu when you’re ready to eat the soup.
- Prep Time: 10 m
- Cook Time: 1 hr 30 min
- Category: Brunch
- Method: Stove-Top
- Cuisine: Asian
Keywords: chao, rice, porridge, congee, soup, breakfast, brunch, asian, vietnamese, chinese, japanese, recipes, vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, pescatarian
It’s finally Spring, but New England kind of doesn’t care about seasons, so it’s already snowed a few times. But listen, I’m not here to talk about the drunk weather patterns of New England, I’m here to share a new recipe I’ve developed in partnership with Trident Seafoods, working with delicious surimi by Louis Kemp. Being a full-time student & working part-time is no easy feat, especially when you also need to find time to feed yourself & not break the bank. This is especially true for any working busybody or mom, so I came up with a recipe that y’all can bang out in 20 minutes or less!
If you’re new around these parts, hi, I’m Tiffany & I’m addicted to sushi. It’s always my default craving, however very expensive, especially when I want to blow my wallet on omakase. I admit that sometimes all I want is just a California roll–invented by Chef Ichiro Mashita who wanted to appease his LA customers who were turned off by the nori (seaweed) in sushi by flipping the rice inside out–because it’s an inexpensive & reasonable alternative to raw fish. This is especially appealing if you’re pregnant or scared of raw fish, so embrace this tasty alternative, y’all! Louis Kemp Crab Delights are made from Alaskan Pollock—a highly sustainable white fish also known as the world’s biggest source of palatable fish, which is commonly used in imitation crab products—and real snow crab. Let me just smash cut to the chase since I know you just HAVE TO KNOW WHAT IT IS I’VE MADE THAT ONLY TAKES 20 MINUTES TO MAKE, HURRY UP. It’s a deconstructed California roll in a bowl! Let me introduce you to my version of a quick & easy California roll fix for busy moms, millennials, people, everyone: the Spicy California Sushi Bowl. Spicy is always optional, but it’s essential in my household because the kick makes life more interesting.
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So, I’m the worst & I really thought I’d be able to edit all of those photos from my trip to Thailand & Vietnam last summer during winter break. I got some of it done, just not all of it. I’m ashamed, but I had other priorities such as allowing Civilization V to ruin my life with my friends. Just one more turn, right? Well, that’s over with. I’m back in Boston, which means it’s about high time I get my act together. Despite having a -9000 presence in the blogosphere this past month, I still got to team up with Vegas.com to make a pizza that was inspired by one of their many hotels. I immediately thought of Paris, only because I really have no idea how I would have time to spray paint neon butterflies & mushrooms to put on a pizza for the Wynn. Since the hotel capitalizes on Parisian culture–or at least what they think is–you’ll easily find French Onion soup & quiche on their menus. This is awkward; I forgot how to blog so I’m just going to cut to the chase: I made a pizza that tastes like the lovechild of a mushroom quiche & French Onion soup. Here’s the part where I make you click a link to stay on my page longer to see my photos. Also, don’t forget to check out resorts in Vegas if you want to spend Spring Break soaking in the heat, day drinking, & pool party life. Wait, that actually sounds really nice right now considering my feet are frozen right now.