Pao Fan: A Zero-Waste, Quick Meal

Pao fan is a trick we’ve relied on many instances through the years to get a quick meal on the desk in minutes. 

You simply collect up just a few salty aspect dishes and a few chilly leftovers out of the fridge, and also you’re able to take pleasure in a simple breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Additionally, nothing goes to waste!

What’s pao fan? 

Pao fan is an easy porridge of leftover rice and water. It’s an effective way to reheat and stretch cooked, leftover rice. 

It’s in style with Shanghainese households particularly (our Cantonese grandparents had solely heard of it from Shanghainese buddies, earlier than my dad roped my mother, a Shanghainese lady, into getting hitched). 

Pao fan is to not be confused with congee, which is uncooked rice simmered in inventory. (Try our 20-minute Congee recipe!) 

In Chaozhou, there’s a Teowchew porridge recipe that cooks rice from a uncooked state till the person grains are simply cooked. 

In texture, it’s nearer to pao fan than Cantonese-style congee, but it surely’s finally completely different from each in that it normally entails a richer broth and extra add-ins like seafood to make a flavorful soup. 

A Zero Waste Recipe 

Pao fan is an effective way to make use of up previous leftovers, in order that nothing goes to waste—not the onerous, chilly rice you forgot behind the fridge, or the motley assortment of leftovers you might have on the finish of the week. 

Cold leftover rice in rice cooker spot
Bowl of pao fan with small bites

Additionally, possibly you don’t have fairly sufficient plain rice to feed 3 individuals. Nicely, should you make this pao fan, sufficient rice for two can stretch to feed 3!

Thick or skinny?

Like congee, you’ll be able to prepare dinner this porridge till it’s thick and viscous. Or you’ll be able to prepare dinner it simply till it’s heated via for a thinner, water-y texture. 

Sarah prefers it thick. My mother Judy prefers it someplace within the center. My dad Invoice likes it very skinny and watery. As for me, I’m not choosy! Nicely no less than, not with pao fan, hehe. 

If you happen to like yours skinny, don’t speak when you’re slurping your pao fan! Many coughing matches through the years have been because of consuming pao fan too rapidly. 

Wooden ladle of cooked pao fan

What to Eat With Pao Fan

The most effective dishes to eat with pao fan are ones which can be tremendous flavorful—bitter, spicy, fermented, candy. 

If you happen to’re grabbing chilly leftovers, so long as your porridge is piping sizzling, there’s actually no have to reheat them. Excellent for nights if you’re feeling additional lazy. 

Listed below are a few of our favorites. Some are store-bought, and a few are dishes we’ve been cooking at residence for years! 

Jarred Chili Bamboo Shoots, thewoksoflife.com
Vacuum sealed packages of zha cai, thewoksoflife.com
red and white fermented tofu, thewoksoflife.com
Wok Fried Peanuts, thewoksoflife.com
Dace fish
  • Chilly leftovers like stir-fried greens or meat dishes 
Eggs with Soy Sauce and Scallions
Shredded Pork with Five Spice Tofu, by thewoksoflife.com

How you can Make Pao Fan 

In a medium pot, add your leftover cooked rice. Add sufficient water to submerge the rice, about 3-5 cups. If you happen to like your pao fan thicker, it’s best to add much less water and prepare dinner it for longer. If you happen to like your porridge skinny, prepare dinner it for much less time and add extra water. 

Pot with rice and water

Cook dinner the pao fan over medium-heat, and simmer for 5-10 minutes till it reaches your required consistency. 

If you happen to prepare dinner it for simply 5 minutes, the rice shall be heated via, however it should nonetheless be in particular person grains. If you happen to prepare dinner it longer (as much as 10 minutes), the water will scale back and the starches within the rice will break down. You’ll be left with a thicker consistency nearer to congee. 

Cooked pao fan

Serve along with your selection of salty dishes like chili bamboo shoots, fermented tofu, or dace fish. Additionally serve with any chilly Chinese language leftovers. 

Pao fan with peanuts, eggs, and leftover greens
Pao Fan Meal

How you can Make Pao Fan

Pao fan, a porridge of leftover rice simmered in water, is a really Chinese language approach of consuming leftovers, in addition to salty, savory, fermented meals.

Bowl of pao fan with small bites

serves: 4

Directions

  • In a medium pot, add your leftover cooked rice. Add sufficient water to submerge the rice, about 3-5 cups. If you happen to like your pao fan thicker, it’s best to add much less water and prepare dinner it for longer. If you happen to like your pao fan skinny, prepare dinner it for much less time and add extra water.

  • Cook dinner the pao fan over medium-heat, and simmer for 5-10 minutes till it reaches your required consistency.

  • If you happen to prepare dinner it for simply 5 minutes, the rice shall be heated via and the water shall be sizzling, however it should nonetheless be in particular person grains. If you happen to prepare dinner it longer (as much as 10 minutes), the water will scale back and the starches within the rice will break down, and also you’ll be left with a thicker consistency nearer to congee.

  • Serve along with your selection of salty dishes like chili bamboo shoots, fermented tofu, or dace fish, or  with chilly Chinese language leftovers.

diet information

Energy: 154kcal (8%) Carbohydrates: 33g (11%) Protein: 3g (6%) Fats: 1g (2%) Saturated Fats: 1g (5%) Sodium: 10mg Potassium: 41mg (1%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 1g (1%) Calcium: 17mg (2%) Iron: 1mg (6%)

Chines Cooking