Butternut Squash Brown Rice Porridge

October  1, 2016
4 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

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. —Sharon Brenner

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.
—The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon (heaping) miso paste
  • 1/2 cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled (you may not use it all)
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 knob ginger, equivalent in size to the garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Serve with a dash of soy sauce and sesame oil, and additional toppings.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • manders
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16 Reviews

manders June 18, 2020
I am late to this recipe but finally made it and enjoyed it! Instead of - or in addition to - grating the garlic and ginger into the rice, I think this would be delicious with crispy pieces of garlic and ginger like made in step 1 here:
ifl January 11, 2020
5 cups water for 1/2C rice? Is that correct? Seems high even for a porridge consistency.
Sharon B. January 12, 2020
hi! yes, because brown rice requires more water and because w/ congee you want more water because you're breaking down the rice into a porridge not just cooking it. you're always welcome to start w/ a little less and add more as it cooks to the consistency you like! :)
ariel A. January 1, 2019
Loved this! So hearty and warming.
alywit February 23, 2018
Could I substitute quinoa for rice in this recipe? How do you think that would change the quantity of water or cooking time?
Sharon B. February 23, 2018
I'm not sure but I'd be interested in the results! :) The rice works because it releases starch so it has a thicker porridge consistency, and because this is brown rice it's even thicker. Quinoa might be a watery/soupy porridge depending on the cook time and water-grain ratio, perhaps google about quinoa porridge? Or maybe do a half rice/half quinoa or half oats mix?
Juliet J. January 11, 2018
I made for breakfast and doubled the recipe. This was a big hit and very flavorful. I needed two TBS of miso, so I used one white and one chickpea. I also roasted the squash in the oven because I thought that might add more depth, and seems easier to me. Thinking you could easily do that step before hand, but there is plenty of time to kill between steps. It took an hour and half from start to finish but it was SO delicious. I added a 6 minute egg, furikake, soy sauce, red chili peppers and sautéed mushrooms as well as some of the roasted squash in the end. Will be making this many times over. My 16 month old was begging for more too!
Sharon B. January 11, 2018
this is great! so glad you liked it!
[email protected] March 9, 2017
Trying it tonight and looking forward to it. Wish I had read these comments before I made it, which I did last night for re-warming tonight. Will take the suggestion and add more miso tonight while warming up!
I also doubled the recipe for 4 persons.
Sharon B. January 11, 2018
Mio November 3, 2016
Sounds delicious but can I suggest you add the miso right at the end to taste? We Japanese never boil miso but add it to warm stock (preferably just before serving miso soup) as boiling it kills the probiotics found in miso which are so good for your digestion and, it seems, for general health!
Sharon B. November 3, 2016
Thanks for the suggestion! :) I add the miso early here just to give the water some salt and light flavor as opposed to using a chicken or veg stock, but certainly some added miso at the end for all of miso's lovely benefits would be a nice addition.
Elizabeth November 3, 2016
I successfully halved the recipe to make a single (generous!) serving. If you follow it exactly, it's extremely mild with few distinct flavours- despite the ginger, miso, and garlic (I will double these next time, and use dark miso). But it's a good blank canvas for the other toppings.
Sharon B. November 3, 2016
Thanks for trying the recipe! I think the flavors might come through a bit more with the recipe done in whole but of course feel free to add more! I probably add more when I make it for myself but erred on the conservative side for this recipe since some people are sensitive to spice and garlic. Bon appetit :)
Miachel P. October 23, 2016
Sounds delicious.
i October 21, 2016
This looks amazing. Miso makes anything delicious.