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Musing on the range of comfort food - what dishes hug you?

i had a crappy week this week and turned, as im sure many chowhounds do, to some comforting food, the last 2 nights. The first night I used my rice cooker to make a rice soup/porridge/congee sort of dish, with leftover smoked pork chop bits, frozen peas and corn, mushrooms and the spices found in 5 spice powder. (t was a clean out the fridge sort of soup) The next night i made some dashi, flavored it with soy ginger and mirin, added tofu udon noodles scallions and japanese 7 spice.

I guess what made them both comfort food for me was the warm soupiness. but while i was eating the udon it struck me that despite the similarity of being soup based (and sorta asian inspired) how different these 2 dishes were - one a complex melange of flavors with dense rice and chunks of meat and veg, and the other almost minimalist as only japanese cuisine can be, and yet both worked as comfort food. This got me musing on how many different foods can be seen as comfort food from heavy and rich dishes - meatloaf mashed potatoes etc, or relatively simple light ones like the aforementioned udon.

I'm not sure what i'm getting at here, but i wanted to share these thoughts with my fellow CHs and i guess get a sense of the range of what food gives you a hug.

some other comfort foods off the top of my head:

risotto
gnocchi
potato soup
kasha
chicken soup
(these last 3 clearly from my childhood and ethnic heritage)
dutch style pancakes
sometime a good cheeseburger
sometimes pizza

what are some of yours? I'm especially interested in people who have radicaly different foods they still consider comfort food

(does this topic make any sense or have any traction? we shall see)

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  1. Oyakodonburi; musubi & teriyaki chicken, pork, or beef; or inarizushi

    Laab & khao niyao (sticky rice)

    Wurst, sauerkraut, and (sorry) hot rice

    Meatloaf & hot rice

    Enchiladas, tamales, or tacos

    Momos, Chinese dumplings, or ravioli

    Fresh naan from a tandoor

    A good burger

        1. re: greedygirl

          I agree. I used to make this for myself when I was a kid on Saturday mornings while I would watch the Smurfs. You can't get any better than that.

        2. Oven-fried chicken, meatballs, sauteed chicken wings, hot turkey sandwich, chicken a la king, SOS, Mary Kitchen roast beef hash with poached egg, ham and eggs, jambalaya, tostada, burger, hamburger steak.

          3 Replies
            1. re: Feed Me

              Chipped beef with gravy, otherwise known as "Sh-t on a Shingle" or SOS.

              ;-)

            2. re: mpalmer6c

              Amen, mpalmer6c! Mary Kitchen canned hash with a poached egg, most definitely!
              Also, I have never met a bowl of gravy with rice or mashed potatoes that I couldn't find comfort in...

            3. I wouldn't call this radically different (for someone who grew up in a Scottish-Canadian household anyway) but here's my list:
              Hot cocoa
              Oatmeal
              Peanut Butter and Banana on toast (mainly because Dad used to make it for me)
              Chicken Noodle Soup (more stuff than broth)
              Homemade macaroni and cheese
              Apple crisp
              Maple taffy pulled from fresh clean snow