If you think porridge is boring, think again. By the looks of it, it may just be a bowl of plain, brown porridge with lots of extra ingredients. But upon the first mouthful, the rich flavours from the bits of ingredients made all the difference. And there’s the unforgettable aroma of wokhei that’s pretty unusual for the comforting congee we have all come to know as the ‘sick man’s food’. We’re talking about fried porridge, or ‘chao zhou’ in Chinese. (Not to be confused with Teochew, though there’s a strong link between the two.)
Fried porridge is like the congee version of fried rice, where you literally fry porridge with an assortment of ingredients and seasoning. It’s a popular Malaysian dish, especially around Klang and Penang. Most families and hawkers would have their own unique recipes, with different stock bases and an array of garnishings.
Porridge was often fried by mothers for their families, to give life to leftover servings of porridge. It was when many realised that the frying process not only brought out its original flavours, but further enhanced the dish with a unique layer of smokiness, that it then led to the creation of fried porridge as a dish.
Preparing Fried Porridge
The basic porridge is already pre-cooked, flavoured with dark soy sauce. Then, the umami magic happens. Fragrant shallots and dried shrimp (hae-bee) are stir-fried in a pan to extract their flavours. The porridge is then added into the pan, infusing the aromas into it.
As the porridge dries up a little during the frying, some stock will be splashed in to enhance the flavour, adding more robustness to it.
Other ingredients, like minced pork, lean meat slices, pork liver and the likes, are then added into the porridge. The porridge is usually served in a claypot, garnished with fragrant fried shallots and chopped scallions.
Porridge makes comfort food. But fried porridge takes that up a few notch, umami-bombs that wakes up any ill appetites. That’s food for the soul.
Assortment of Fried Porridge Flavours at Feng Xiang
Looking for authentic flavours of fried porridge? Feng Xiang Singapore has got it. Prepared following family recipes from the founders’ hometown in Klang, the fried porridge here promises to be the best you can taste in the Lion City.
Feng Xiang offers its Klang Fried Porridge in six tantalising varieties. For the traditional, opt for the Minced Pork Fried Porridge or Sliced Pork Fried Porridge, both popular with kids and adults alike.
Diners who like more bite can go for the Mixed Pig’s Organ Fried Porridge. The offals are thoroughly cleaned and thus leaving no porky or gamey smells, just a nice earthy flavour with all the right textures.
FX Pork Cutlet Fried Porridge is another great choice for those looking at something more substantial. (Though we must say, the portions of the fried porridge served are really hearty.) The stall’s signature fried pork cutlet adorns the great bowl of comfort, adding another layer of crunch and savouriness.
More of a seafood person? Feng Xiang offers two great seafood choices in its Fried Porridge menu. You may have heard of fish porridge soup, but have you tried Sliced Fish Fried Porridge? Generous slices of tender batang fish are laid atop piping hot fried porridge, and the combination is simply unbeatable.
Feeling indulgent? Then go for the Abalone Fried Porridge. And it’s really affordable. Enough said.
Alternatively, you may choose to add any of the ingredients to any of the Klang fried porridge to ‘upsize’ your meal, at a little additional cost. Very worth it, we say!
Insider’s tip to truly enjoy a hearty bowl of Feng Xiang Fried Porridge: have it with authentic Klang-style Herbal Bak But Teh, and order a portion or two of You Tiao to go along. Divine!
While you’re at it, don’t miss the other Malaysian delicacies like Braised Pig’s Trotter, or try their specialty Dry Bak Kut Teh.
Get Umami-fied at Feng Xiang
Can’t wait to try out Feng Xiang’s Fried Porridge? Check them out at any of these four locations, Beauty World Centre Food Centre, Kallang Bahru (inside 7 Days Coffee Shop @ 63 Kallang Bahru), Breadtalk iHQ (inside Food Republic @ Tai Seng), and in Food Republic at VivoCity. Or order for delivery via selected food delivery apps.