Monday, March 12, 2012

Porridge: Ru Ji in Alexendra Village does the honours

Traditional Chinese porridge with raw fish

Rice porridge and sliced raw fish marinated with sesame oil and lime, and garnished with spring onions and ginger is a breakfast staple in Singapore...and one of my favourites.

I planned a fitness walking routine with my friend Lionel, and our first stop was Alexandra Village to feed. The stall is only open in the mornings...early till about probably 1pm when they finish the porridge and close the stall. Manned by brothers, from what I can see...one minds the porridge, one does the fish, and another the till.


Chinese porridge comes in many forms. All are based on rice as the principal ingredient with water. The Cantonese cook the porridge over slow, constant fire for a long time...hours...to obtain a creamy consistency. Typically the rice grains have broken down due to the hours on heat, and not distinguishable. The Teochews have what they call "moey"...which the grains are still intact, so looking like bloated rice, but submerged in a gooey broth from the broken down carbs in the rice. This broth is known as "alm"...and is known to have properties to cool one's body from the sweltering heat of the day. The Hokkiens have a variant in between, called "ber"...the grains are still distinguishable, but more broken down than the "moey". The alm is integrated to the rice grains.

This one I sampled at Alexandra Village is the Hokkien style. I had one with quartered phee tan (century eggs...preserved eggs) within. The porridge is smooth, creamy. And quite delicious with just a sprinkling of spring onions, a touch of soy sauce and some pepper. And goes very well with the sliced raw fish:


The fish is fresh. Very fresh. No fishy odours at all. And the seasoning of sesame oil, lime juice and garnished with deep fried shallots and lettuce salad is very good. Sometimes, the fish contains little, edible cartilageous bones which adds to the texture.

Excellent breakfast.

From there we walked to the old PSA Towers, now a renewed shopping mall. And had some coffee. The machiatto looked excellent, but the coffee is over extracted, and very bitter.


More walking ensued...up the Tree Top Walk from Hort Park, over to Henderson Waves to Jewel Box in Mt Faber, and down to HarbourFront. And from there back to Bukit Merah Road. 11km total.

Ru Ji Porridge
Alexandra Village.

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