Friday, July 8, 2011

Bubur Ayam Jakarta (Jakartan Chicken Porridge)

I love this. This might really be one of my absolute favorite foods.
If you're truly from Jakarta, you don't call it 'bubur ayam', or chicken porridge. True locals call this 'bubur abang'. 'Bubur' means porridge and the word 'abang' means older brother. It's a little weird, but let me explain.

Street food is big where I'm from. If you're hungry, it doesn't matter what time of day it is; you can walk out on to street and find food vendors everywhere. It's really cheap, too.
Credit to khurram at travelermania
Credit to Rebecca Distler at The Globalist
Credit to khurram at travelermania
My point is, there's a lot of food. One of the most popular street foods in Jakarta, especially for breakfast, is the chicken porridge. Like I said before, it's called 'bubur abang', or older brother's porridge. It's called that because many of the vendors are men, and they're most likely 25 years old, or older. So, we call the porridge 'older brother's porridge' in order to refer to the Jakartan porridge that's sold on the street.

I remember when I was little, I had to wait until my dad went off to work before I could eat this. He didn't want me eating stuff from the vendors because, well, they're not the most sanitary things. My mom has nothing against it, so my dad got mad at her a lot for enabling me. I got really annoyed with my dad sometimes. I couldn't wait to grow up. That way I can eat whatever the hell I want.

So, I made some porridge today. I forgot how dangerous it can get. It was bubbling and it kind of splattered all over the place. I got a burn on my hand. Not fun.
I did anticipate some stirring to be involved though. For those of you who have never made porridge or congee before, it takes about 1 and a half to 2 hours to get it to the right consistency. And, that's if you use cooked rice. If you use uncooked rice, you can expect to stand in front of the stove for about 2 and a half to 3 hours (depending on how much you're making), continuously stirring the damn thing until it's smooth.

20 minutes in...
After about 2 hours of continuous stirring...
If you want to make this, make sure you have at least 3 hours of free time. Just saying.
The porridge is made from rice, obviously, chicken broth, water, and most importantly, Indonesian bay leaves. Just two or three for 1 and a half cups of rice. It can't get any simpler. It just needs time and care.
The traditional 'meat' in this dish is chicken--Indonesian fried chicken.

Well-seasoned, crispy fried chicken. Good, huh? Don't get too attached to it. I'm going to have to shred it and ruin it for you.

Oh, I have something very important to say. Do not throw away the skin. I will find out and hunt you down. Whenever I see people use cooked chicken, whether it's fried or roasted, they throw away the skin. *cough cough* Food network people *cough cough* It pisses me off.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
There are ready to use seasoning mixes for this fried chicken. Since I'm not my mother, I used the mix--with some added ingredients, of course. I added a couple slices of galangal root and some Indonesia bay leaves.
This is the seasoning mix I use.
We shall assemble.
A couple ladlefuls of porridge and some chicken...
Add Chinese crullers and green onions...
Add tapioca crackers, Indonesian sweet soy sauce, and some chili  sauce
Now, take a spoon and give 'em hell.

1 comment:

  1. hi -- thanks for posting recipe, gave me a better picture how to use the jar of Kokita fried chicken seasoning my Indonesian s-i-l sent home w/ me after I visited. :-)