Fresh raw fish porridge? When I first stumbled upon this dish online, I was puzzled. And no, it’s not porridge with a side of sashimi! After all, in a span of one week, I’ve consumed Hong Kong-style boat porridge and fork porridge— so why not add a new kind of porridge to my list?
It’s only justified that this famous fresh raw fish porridge stall is located in Petaling Street (isn’t every other popular joint found here too?). Now, a quick history lesson on this stall. Currently helmed by the third generation, Hon Kee Porridge has been around since 1949 and has created a name for itself with its fresh raw fish porridge.
Hon Kee Porridge is an unassuming-looking place. In fact if you’re in a rush, you might just pass by it. Quick tip, there’s a bright red banner with the menu listed on it and a bunch of folks slurping porridge contentedly off orange bowls. Now you know you’re at the right place.
What I tried at Hon Kee Porridge
I pointed to the banner— a bowl of the Fresh Raw Fish Porridge (RM9) and the Crispy Pork Innards Porridge (RM8). In less than 30 seconds, on my rickety metal table sat a bowl of piping hot porridge decorated with deep fried pork innards. And next to it, sat a plate of fresh raw fish decorated with thinly sliced ginger and coriander.
So if you’re wondering if you’re supposed to eat the fish sashimi style with soy sauce, fear not. Throw in the accompanying raw slices of fish, fresh ginger and coriander into the porridge and stir (a little morning exercise for your fingers). It’ll take about 30 seconds or so. You know that the flesh is cooked when it turns from pink to white. I honestly found that the part of cooking the fish really amps the eating experience.
The porridge itself is smooth and definitely complements the mild sweetness of the fresh fish. I added a couple of drops of soy sauce to give the porridge a little salty kick. For those wondering, there’s absolutely no fish stench. It’s a wholesome dish that’s kind to your tummy and very balanced. I can now understand why the fresh raw fish porridge has become a cult favourite.
However, if the idea of raw fish in porridge seems unappealing to you, tickle your tastebuds with the Crispy Pork Innards Porridge instead. This one I adored. At first, the idea of fried innards was a bit of a turn off but the moment I bit into it, it was like a delicious salty crisp!
It reminded me a little of fried chicken skin— crispy and salty, but the porridge helped balance out the saltiness and I found myself enjoying every bite in sheer happiness. Any dish that turns my hesitation into joy is a definite A for me! You’ll also be pleased to know that there was no foul odour from the innards. Score!
The idea of fresh raw fish and pork innards in a porridge may sound like a turn off but having tasted it, I’m happy to report that I’m a convert. I understand the adoration towards this little stall now. I’ll definitely be back for the Crispy Pork Innards Porridge. The mix of comforting congee and the crunch of the innards— I can’t stop thinking about it. I would gladly make a trip back to Petaling Street for this delicious bowl.
They’re also well-known for their chee cheong fun. As I sat there, I saw a lot of folks ordering it so I’m definitely saving it on my next round back to Hon Kee Porridge. If you’re planning on making a trip here, I’d definitely recommend you to visit in the morning as I read that this stall can be packed with customers— for a bite of that famous fresh raw fish porridge. They also sell frog porridge. The juicy frog legs are served in a thick ginger spring onion gravy, which you scoop into their silky smooth porridge.
Sure the prices have gone up throughout the years, but let’s be honest… where hasn’t? Nevertheless, customers keep coming back for more— for 73 years to be precise. So you know for sure that Hon Kee Porridge has got the art of porridge down pat.
Expected damage: RM8 – RM10 per pax
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