Nov 2, 2008

cambodian rice porridge with crispy shallots and cilantro

in any season, but particularly when the weather chills, i start to crave this dish, my all-time favorite food in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD. it all comes together in an hour and has bright flavor and comforting texture. yum. i can't even think about it without wanting to make it.

serves 4
1 cup brown long grain rice
8 cups natural chicken stock
(i use 2 health valley boxes)
2 TBSP minced cilantro stems
olive oil
4 TBSP thai fish sauce
1 TBSP brown sugar
for crispy shallots
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
3 scallions, chopped
olive oil
for fish and garnish
1 lb fresh mild white fish poached or steamed
(i generally use grey sole or tilapia here , but many others would work great: scallops or shrimp, even chicken...but it is not my favorite)
garnish with
lots fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed
3 limes, sliced

First, saute the sliced shallots and chopped scallions in a few TBSP olive oil on high to medium high heat until light to medium brown They will become crispy as they cool. Remove from pan and drain oil, place in small serving bowl.

Next, in a large stock pot, heat the pan. add 1 TBSP olive oil, add rice. saute for a minute or two on high heat to coat the grains of rice. When coated, add the 8 cups of chicken stock and minced cilantro stems, bring to boil. Turn to simmer and cook for 40 minutes until the rice is soft. Add fish sauce and brown sugar.

In a separate pan, poach the fish with salted water or stock, cilantro stems until just tender. Break into large pieces.

For each serving, ladle rice/stock mixture into a serving bowl, add several pices of fish on top. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and a spoonful of crispy shallots. Squeeze fresh limes into soup, add some thai chilli sauce if you like. Also, you can use white long grain rice, just reduce the cooking time to about 20 minutes.

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