As a child, I was blessed and didn’t get sick often but when I did, my mom always made me a hot bowl of soup or Korean porridge. The hot steamy broth often healed my sore throat or warmed my aching tummy. Mmm. Yesterday morning, when I woke up, I knew something was not right with my husband. He was radiating heat and sweating uncontrollably (time to wash the sheets). Not sure what more I could really do to help, I remembered my mom and decided to make my attempt at Korean vegetable rice porridge. Who knew so much work went into such a simple bowl?
There are essentially two ways to make the porridge – the quicker way using already cooked rice or the traditional way of using uncooked rice. I looked at our rice cooker with 2 day old brown rice and opted to go the traditional white uncooked rice route. A lot of patience goes into first placing the rice in water and waiting for each grain to expand and suck in the water, then into constantly stirring the uncooked rice over heat until the rice has expanded and started cooking and then of course the final stages of cooking of the rice with boiling water. But at the end of the day, it’s worth it, or it was for me when I saw that the warm grains were making my husband feel better (or so he pretended to).
There are many types of Korean rice porridge. Some are more seasoned and flavorful (spicy octopus, beef, oyster and the list goes on) which are often enjoyed for breakfast or a snack because it’s easily digested. But I chose to make a more simple vegetable porridge for the tummy-ache that will sooth an upset stomach. This will be a particularly hearty great meal for cold mornings – soon to be coming in Boston. Oh boy.