Monday, April 9, 2012

Dried Fish Peanut Porridge (柴鱼花生粥)

I don't know what is the exact name of this dried fish 柴鱼"cai yu" in english. I tried to google it, but still, I couldn't find any clue. Anyway, it's okay. It's a dried fish that you can get it from sundries store that sell lots of dried foodstuffs.

This dried fish peanut porridge is one of my childhood food. During my primary school period, we could easily get a bowl of porridge at the roadside stall, located at the corner of our village near to our school. The stall owner is a very friendly middle aged aunt. It cost us only 10cts a bowl. We will have a bowl of porridge for breakfast before we head to the school. Ahhh.... Memory!

And I think the unbeatable part about the one that I had during childhood time is that, stall owner use charcoal to cook the porridge, while mine in a easier way, but... shamefully, Rice Cooker.

This dried fish peanut porridge can be seen in a common nutritious babyfood recipe book. This porridge supposed to be slightly watery than the usual thick porridge that Cantonese used to cook. The taste of this porridge is that, it has the fragrance of the soft peanut when you chew on it, while the dried fish gives it a mild saltiness & sweetness. Heavenly!

This porridge said to promote urination, and it is also a good source of iron, especially for kids.

I went Chinatown wet market and get myself some 柴鱼 dried fish & peanut. The dried fish itself is very lightweight. This two big piece of dried fish only weight about 66 grams, and it cost me about S$3.00. It is about the price of dried cuttlefish that I used to cook soup.

Snip them into small cubes... I used about 30 grams

Some sliced ginger...

  • Half cups of Koshihikari Rice, or any calrose rice you have, or alternatively, Jasmine rice.
  • About 800ml to 1000ml Water (depends on how watery you want your porridge to be)
  • 30grams of 柴鱼 Dried Fish, snipped into small pieces
  • 25grams of Dried Peanut, soaked in water for 4 to 5 hours, or overnight.
  • 2 to 3 slices of ginger
  • sea salt to taste
  • spring onions for garnishing

  1. Wash rice, soak it in water for 30mins. I don't need to do this, because I'm using my Zojirushi Rice Cooker that can cook good porridge.
  2. I have the time, so I removed the skin of the peanut. But if you don't have time, don't bother.
  3. In a rice cooker, add in everything except salt and spring onion. I cooked it for about 1 hour. But if you are cooking it on a gas stove or basic rice cooker, probably need longer time.
  4. When the porridge is done, add salt, give it a good stir, sprinkle some spring onions and serve.
I love adding some sesame oil and a dash of pepper on my porridge before I eat. And of course, spring onions is a must. Or else, I will find my porridge incomplete.

It is indeed, one of my best childhood food.

I spotted a stall selling 柴鱼花生粥 at Chinatown Hawker Centre. Shop owner speak Canto. So, I think they are Cantonese. The porridge that they sell is very watery and runny. Not as creamy as mine - S$1.00 for a small bowl. It's rather over-priced I think. But it can be quite therapeutic when I have the sudden crave for it. That stall sells basic stir fried rice vermicelli too - S$1.00 for a small portion, serving it using a 6 inch plate.


  1. Ohhh.. the one opposite my house or at the corner just infront of ACS's backdoor?
    I use to have the10 sen porridge in front of my house everyday when I was 7, but later got disgusted with the way she handled her dogs and later the food.

    and u know what... this is my first time seeing Cai Yue. It's bonito, right? I;ve been looking for RiYueYu, the kedai ubat no idea what I'm talking about

  2. Wendy, I think we are talking about the same stall. I remembered I had breakfast at that stall when I was like 5 or 6 yrs old or something.

    And yep! I think Bonito & Cai Yu are the same. But I'm not sure tho. Not many people know such dried fish nowadays lah. Only kampong people or older generation people will know how to enjoy it.

  3. This porridge recipe sounds delicious. Hope I can find the dried fish (cai yu) ingredient.

    Are there suppose to be two (2) recipes under the "Porridge" link ...

    If so, this lovely "Dried Fish Peanut Porridge" recipe is not there.

    Also, would love to see some "soup" recipes using "dried cuttlefish" (mentioned above).