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Congee is my ultimate comfort food, whenever I was feeling unwell my grandma would make some with dried scallops. This one sounds great, I really should make it more often; such inexpensive ingredients, too.


Rice porridge remains my go to food when I'm not feeling well. But it was a revelation to have the zhou in Taiwan, where you'd order either plain or one cooked with chunks of pumpkin/squash, then order whatever savory dishes you want. My dad and I would choose oysters in black bean sauce, a salty dried fish, pork sauteed in garlic, vegetables like long beans, tofu, then add it to the zhou. I realized zhou was the perfect foil to whatever I felt like eating.
But I love a bowl of arroz caldo, with a squeeze of calamansi, a splosh of patis, topped with fried garlic, green onions, and slices of boiled egg.


Although I am actually not at all a fan of bubur, your lovely expose - and brilliant photography (is it just me or is Indonesia THE best spot for people photography?) almost makes me want to try again...!


Dear Robyn, Dave,

You guys are "weird", by Western standard I think, to like this sort of gruel. But hey, those farangs do not know what they are missing!! Bubur on, I say! I love it too.


thats definitely a diff kind of gruel that im used to..not the smooth blended hk version..although i will b very tempted to try this esp with that sambal on the top!

Wendy Hutton

At last! Someone singing the much-deserved praises of bubor, the Southeast Asian version of chicken soup for the soul. Love it, love it, love it! Even though I've lived in Indonesia, and love tinituan, the bubor of Manado, I don't think I've had the excellent Javanese version you write about so glowingly. Worth going back to track it down some time soon.


Robyn and Dave,
Thank you so very much for showcasing a much beloved bubur. Rice porridge is the ultimate comfort food in Indonesia and the variety is endless depending on the ethnic group serving it. Your beautiful photographs made me so homesick.... especially during the cold and rainy days in the Pacific Northwest.

Please visit my beautiful home country often.


Lizzie + lotsofcravings - I do love a plainish Hong Kong-style porridge.

Mila - I think the porridge you describe is Teochew-style, with all the accompanying dishes. I haven't tried to make arroz caldo, really should.

Kristine - there is no way you could not like this porridge. And yes, Indonesia is fantastic for photography.

TJ - we probably are. I just think if farang knew more about different types of bubur/porridge they'd give it a try and find they actually like it. It's the words - 'rice porridge' or 'rice gruel' that are a real turnoff.

Wendy - I for one would return to Cianjur for this bowlful...

Hi Tuty - I'd love to hear more (about various buburs attributed to various ethnic groups). Bubur is becoming sort of a pet obsession of mine. Drop me an email (link up top at right).
And we will be spending much more time in Indonesia in 2009, so you can look forward to more posts.

Life 2.0

It's breakfast time and why am I not in Java eating Burbur, but instead trying to push myself out the door into a 1/2 foot of snow and 20 degree F weather in Michigan. WHY!!!!!!!!!! (sadly, I do know the reason and in 2 years, SEA will be my home.)

Stephen @ theworldrecipebook

Great article guy's, takes me back to surfing bali in the 80's


We called it bubur ayam (chicken porridge) for the one in your article. For bubur ayam a lot of seller have a different combination, my favorite is Bubur Ayam Pa Sunar in Kolmas, Cimahi. Legendary too at least for Bandung area.

There are another bubur that you can find easily in Indonesia Bubur Kacang Ijo and Bubur Sumsum, these two is the sweet version of bubur.

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