Porridge is a great way to integrate a variety of ingredients in one bowl – protein, carbs, vegetables and different kinds of spices and flavors. In Asia, porridge is very often served for breakfast – in South Korea, with spicy Kimchi, and in Malaysia and Indonesia, with dried fish and peanuts.
Porridge is also a comfort food in Japan when children get sick – for upset stomachs or lack of appetite when there is high fever – it is always the basic rice porridge that is offered to kids – cooked simply with water and salt, extra soft like a thick whipped soup.
This recipe is with miso bean paste for a full bodied flavor, with tofu, whipped eggs and different aromatic herbs like Thai Basil and Scallions. If you can’t find Thai basil, you can use fresh mint or regular basil. You can also use fresh sage or tarragon which are both mild and fragrant. The herbs will wilt with the heat of the porridge, so if your child does not like the crunchy texture of the herbs, you can mix it in with the rice.
I like brown rice porridge just as much, but for this recipe, I used white rice for the starchy texture which creates a creamy soup broth.
For adults, I usually add some kind of heat – chopped chilies or red chili paste for a nice kick. I put it in below as an optional ingredient for adults.
Miso Porridge with Whipped Eggs, Tofu, Bean Sprouts and Thai Basil
2 cups white rice, washed
7 cups water
2 tablespoons miso paste
1 thick piece dried kombu
1/2 cup tofu
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1 tablespoon chopped thai basil
1 tablespoon chopped scallions
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
[Optional for adults: 1 tablespoon chili red bean paste or chopped fresh chilies]
1. In a pot, combine the water, kombu and rice and bring to a boil.
2. Cover the pot with a lid and lower the heat – let simmer for 40 minutes until the rice has dissolved and begins to lose its shape.
3. Add the miso, tofu and bean sprouts and cook for 10 more minutes, mixing well.
4. In a small bowl, whip the eggs until light and foamy, and pour quickly into the pot of cooked porridge. Take off the heat, and sprinkle the basil and scallions.
5. Serve in 4 bowls and add the flaxseeds and sesame oil on each bowl. Serve immediately.