There is a post below where there is some discussion of jook aka congee (Chinese rice porridge). I love the stuff and I'm always looking for new recipe. I generally make jook with chicken stock, pork meatballs, and topped with chopped scallions, cliantro and preserved cabbage. My mom makes a great Taiwanese version with shredded chicken and ginger (served with fried crullers).
Would anyone else like to share there favorite recipes?
Vietnamese rice porridge is called chao (actually pronounced "chow"). When growing up, my mom usually made this when she had chicken or turkey bones/parts to use up or if someone in the family was ailing w/ little appetite. Mom's version used homemade chicken stock. Typically served simply w/ some finely-shredded chicken or dried shredded pork along w/ a little scallion. Dash of fish or soy sauce before serving was optional.
Mom also had a sweet chao that she would make w/ water, rice, and sugar. Kind of like a light dessert, although I didn't care for this as much as the savory version.
I have made a shortcut chao using store-bought chicken stock a couple of times. Of course, not as good as homemade which I'm inspired to try soon. To keep each bowl interesting, I like to vary my mix-ins and have used the following (in different combos) in addition to what I mentioned above: fried bean curd, fried crullers (as you called them), sliced duck, fried shallots, sliced wood/tree ear or shiitake mushrooms, shredded carrot, pickled veggies like cabbage and daikon. Not "traditional" I guess, but great as a light meal w/ lots of textural contrast.
Some of the most soul-satisfying jook comes from rummaging around in the fridge and pulling out all the leftovers and tossing them in the pot.
I don't think I'd put leftover tamales or spaghetti in there...ya gotta use a little judgment!...but one time I threw in a bit of leftover bbq pork(pulled, not chinese-style), and it was surprisingly good. The smokiness of the pork added interesting flavor elements.