Rejuvenating Black Rice Porridge

Prep Time

5 minutes

Prep Notes

I grew up with porridge for breakfast almost every day, from split, rough corn porridge to finer corn porridge and millet porridge, and further diversified with combinations of different beans such mung beans, red beans, soybeans. After years of staying away from them, i have been incorporating porridge into my breakfast again. It is very simple to prepare. Rinse some grains in the post you will be using for your porridge, and then drain them. With the grains in the pot, gill it up with water to about half full - usually about a half cup of water to one cup of grains, depending on the thickness of the porridge desired. Put the pot on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat to the minimum, covering the pot half way. Let it slowly simmer, the emerging fragrances permeating the air. Stir with a ladle from time to time to prevent sticking. You can always precook the porridge the previous night and simply heat it up the next day. Black rice porridge is one of my favorite.

Cooking Time

30 minutes to 2 hours




  • small handful of black rice
  • small handful of sticky rice (a variety of white rice with a stickier nature; can be replaced with brown rice, regular rice or pink rice)
  • small handful of dry black beans
  • small handful of dry red beans (optional)
  • small handful of dry pearl barley
  • about ten pieces of dried lily bulbs (an herbal ingredient loaded with nutritional and medicinal value; can be purchased at some oriental stores)
  • small handful of peanuts or walnuts
  • half handful of goji berries
  • five to seven dates, pitted and hand broken into loose pieces (optional)
  • half handful of black sesame seeds
  • sugar made from plum sugar in solid form, or any other form of organic sugar, loose or in solid or crystal form (in solid chunks)
  • one small-sized banana, sliced (optional)


The night before, rinse everything except the black sesame seeds, sugar, and banana. You can rinse out the black sesame seeds if you have a very fine strainer; otherwise use them as is without rinsing to prevent the seeds being washed down the drain. Put all the rinsed ingredients in a medium-sized pot. Fill it with water to about two-thirds full. Now put in the black sesame seeds and turn the heat on high. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heart to low and simmer for about ten minutes. Turn off the heart. Cover the pot well and let it sit on the stove top overnight. The next morning, add a teaspoon of sugar the the slices of banana before cooking if you crave a bit of sweetness. If you are an early riser, you can always cook the porridge after you get up in the morning, getting it to the point of simmering before you go about your morning routine of self-love and self-care, but be sure to soak the beans overnight. The porridge will need to cook for about two hours.


There are many multi-grain porridge mixes in the food stores in Chinatown. The most popular one has eight grains and is called porridge of eight treasures. You can always add dates, cubed sweet potatoes, apples, dried grapes, bananas, dried haw flakes (haw is know for digestion), and some healthy form of sugar into the mix for a bit of sweetness.

A word of caution: it is okay to start most grains in cold water, except buckwheat and oats. They get mushy with no texture. Add these to boiling water instead.