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Vietnamese Fish Porridge/Rice Soup Recipe (Chao Ca)

Updated on February 26, 2012

Warm, creamy rice porridge with hidden fish slices within and garnished with fried shallots, spring onions and corianders. Chao ca is Vietnamese fish porridge. Rice soup(Chao) or known as porridge or congee is common breakfast food in Vietnam and Asia.

Despite the name, this fish porridge is not "fishy" at all since the fresh fish slices are added just before serving. The hot porridge will cook the fish. This is a very simple and delish dish.

Here is how to make simple fish porridge. What you need is plain porridge and fresh fish fillet. Any kind of fish is good as long its fresh. If you are not sure how to make plain porridge, you can use rice cooker. There are several brands of multi function rice cooker (rice cooker-porridge cooker-steamer) in the market such as Zojirushi and Sanyo.

What You Need

Serves 4 - 8


8 cups rice porridge/rice soup (see recipe bellow)

1 lbs fish fillet (cod, seabass, halibut, etc)

2 - 3 tbsp chopped chilantro

2 - 3 tbsp thinly sliced spring onions

2 - 3 tbsp fried shallot

ground black pepper


2 tbsp minced ginger

2 tbsp fish sauce

1/3 tsp salt

2/3 tsp sugar

1 tbsp cooking oil

2 - 3 tbsp vinegar

How to Fix

  • Cut fish into 2-inch x 1-inch x 1/8-inch thick pieces.
  • In a small bowl. combine ginger, fish sauce, salt, sugar, cooking oil, vinegar. Add the fish and toss to mix. Set aside for 30 minutes. Let the fish sit at room temperature.
  • In stock pot, heat the soup to a boil over medium heat.
  • Stir the fish mixture and then discard the accumulated liquid. Divide the fish among the serving bowls. Lay the hot porridge over the fish. Garnish with spring onions, coriander, ground pepper and fried shallots.

Plain rice porridge/congee (Chao)
Plain rice porridge/congee (Chao) | Source

How to Make Plain Rice Porridge (Chao)

Serves 4 (about 8 cups)


1 cup long gran rice

10 cups chicken stock or water

4 - 5 slices fresh ginger

3 spring onions

Wash and rinse rice under cold running water. Drain

In a stock pot, put rice, chicken stock, ginger and spring onions. Bring to a boil over high heat. When its bubbling, lower the heat to simmer. Stir occasionally to make sure the rice has not stuck to the bottom.

Continue to simmer for about 1 hour or until the grains have bloomed and the soup is thick and creamy. You can add salt or other seasoning if its necessary. If the porridge is too thick, you can add add water or stock to thin it out.

Transfer from the heat.

Chao Ca - Fish Porridge (in Vietnamese)


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    • profile image

      Graceland 3 years ago

      Good point. I hadn't thoghut about it quite that way. :)

    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 6 years ago from USA


    • profile image

      bestcoconutwater 6 years ago from Sri Lanka

      Hi very good Hub..

    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 6 years ago from USA


    • Julie Jensen profile image

      Julie Jensen 6 years ago from New Orleans

      I am going to try this! Looks good...