This multi-course meal from Chaozhou was originally meant to be a reliable, daily form of sustenance. At the heart of this modest ‘banquet’ is a variety of small dishes – whether fermented, pickled, cured or aged – that add interest and flavour to a humble bowl of porridge.
Pair with: Small Monster Session India Pale Ale, brewed to be slightly dry and bitter and perfect as a palate cleanser for this light course.
Prep time 1 hour + 2-3 days curing Cook time 30 minutes
1 cup glutinous rice
1 cup Thai jasmine rice
1 cup Japanese short-grain rice 150ml fresh coconut juice 1 ginger flower
» Soak all rice grains in water in separate bowls, making sure that the grains are fully submerged.
» Strain glutinous and Thai jasmine rice and save for other use. Combine water from soaking glutinous and Thai jasmine rice.
» Cook Japanese short-grain rice in a rice cooker.
» Add coconut juice and ginger flower to the water mixture, then bring it to a gentle boil.
» Combine cooked Japanese short-grain rice with water mixture before serving.
80g rock salt
10g chrysanthemum flowers 1 egg yolk
» Fill a tray with rock salt, then add chrysanthemum flowers and mix evenly. » Place egg yolk gently in the salt tray, then cover them evenly with salt and chrysanthemum flowers.
» Store the tray covered in a fridge and allow the yolks to cure for 2-3 days. » Dust off salt before serving.
oil-poached black bean dace/ikan kuning
1 dace or 2 ikan kuning
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp fermented black beans
» Remove innards from the fish, then salt it lightly.
» Heat vegetable oil to 220°C and flash-fry fish until the fins and bones are crispy. » Fill a small pot with oil and add fermented black beans. Place fish in the mixture and heat gently until the fish is soft.
1 kyuri cucumber
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil chilli padi, as desired
1 tbsp chilli oil
100ml black rice vinegar or beer vinegar
» Place kyuri cucumber on the table and press down hard with your palm until it breaks. This creates fissures in the cucumber that allow the sauces to stick to the flesh.
» Slice kyuri cucumber into thick wedges.
» Mix light soya sauce with sesame oil, chilli padi, chilli oil and black rice vinegar.
» Add kyuri wedges into the mixture and allow to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
» Serve cold.