I'm from San Francisco, but almost two years ago I moved to Athens, Greece. Asian restaurants do exist in Athens, but certainly not to the extent that we have in SF. So, when I miss those flavors I take to the kitchen. I like making rice porridge because it's a healthy, filling, and a straightforward way to cook something with those flavors that I'm craving. Adding the squash here in two ways also gives a nice autumnal note to the recipe, making a warming dish for any time of day or night. —recordsintheden
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: recordsintheden joined Food52 on September 29th. Welcome!
WHAT: A brown rice porridge with squash purée and topped with more squash!
HOW: Start a simple brown rice porridge, add pureed squash, ginger, and garlic, and simmer until everything thickens. Top with squash, soy sauce, scallions, chili flakes—whatever you want!
WHY WE LOVE IT: This is kind of like a fall version of congee or jook. Although the recipe takes a little simmering and stopping (and simmering and stopping), the result is utterly comforting, hearty, and totally customizable given you can top at your own whim.
(heaping) miso paste
short grain brown rice
medium butternut squash, peeled (you may not use it all)
large garlic clove
knob ginger, equivalent in size to the garlic clove
neutral oil (olive, grapeseed, etc.)
Recommended/optional toppings: leftover cooked cubes of butternut squash, soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh lime or lemon juice, cilantro, chopped scallions, a fried egg, chili flakes, sesame seeds
Dissolve the miso paste, stirring, in 2 cups of water. In a medium pot, add miso mixture and the rice. Bring to a boil and lower to medium heat. Cook, uncovered, until the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the butternut squash into large cubes, 1-2 inches. Bring a pot of water to a boil, lower the heat to medium and boil the squash until tender (not mushy!). Once the squash has cooked, run it under cold water to stop the cooking. In a blender, add about 2/3 cup of squash and a spoonful of water or two, and blend until it is a smooth puree. Set aside.
When the liquid is almost absorbed, use a hand grater to grate the garlic and ginger into the rice. Add the oil (you could use sesame or peanut, but it will alter the flavor accordingly). Add 1/2 cup of the butternut squash puree. Stir to combine and add an additional 2 cups (500 ml) water and raise the heat to medium-high until it starts to bubble again. Lower to medium-low heat and cook until the liquid is mostly absorbed and the rice porridge has thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the porridge from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Add an additional 1 cup (250 ml) water and raise the heat to medium-high until it starts to bubble again. Then lower the heat to medium-low and cook until you have a thick but somewhat soupy porridge (or to desired consistency), about 10 minutes.
Serve with a dash of soy sauce and sesame oil, and additional toppings.