Thursday, 4 September 2014

Double-Boiling Porridges

One of the most useful tips that I've learnt from a Facebook group 'Healthy Food for My Baby' is on double boiling oats (a big Thank You to the mummy who shared it whoever you're) which I've improvised & used it to cook BB's porridge. Why double boil u may wonder? It ensures that the temperature stays almost constant at around 100 degrees Celsius which is essential as some nutrients may be destroyed at too high a temperature. Furthermore, through this method of cooking, most nutrients from the food will be retained. For me, another added bonus would be that I won't have to 'watch' the fire to prevent my porridge from getting burnt. If you've a slow cooker at home, you probably don't need to do this but even the slow cooker at my mum's place needs the occasional stirring or else the porridge would end up sticking to the bottom. 

I have chosen to make use of my existing kitchen appliances to create my "personal double boiler" instead of buying one to add-on to the clutter on my countertop. The appliances include:

Ikea metal pot & pot strainer (any large metal pot with a steamer stand will do just as fine)
Ceramic pot (can be purchased from NTUC)
Induction cooker (stovetop of course can too)

I shall share how the above method is implemented, with the porridge recipe that I have just cooked today.


3 tbsp of Simple Natural Organic Ten Multi Grains (found at most Cold Storage outlets)
3/4 cup of water
1 piece of cod fillet, thawed & deboned (I bought a big packet of cod fish chunks & defrost the required chunks whenever I need them)
1/2 of a small purple sweet potato, peeled & diced
A handful of chopped spring onions


1. Soak the grains in water within the ceramic pot overnight to remove phytic acid.

2. Place the ceramic pot into the metal pot with the pot stainer (or on top of a steamer stand) & fill it with water to match the height of half the ceramic pot.

3. Bring water to boil, then let it simmer for between 1 hour to 1.5 hour depending on the strength of  your fire (please check occasionally to ensure that there is water left in the metal pot, especially for the first few times that you are attempting this method until you're certain on the required amount of water that would be needed without steaming away completely during the cooking process).

4. After 20 minutes, add the diced sweet potatoes into the ceramic pot & give it a good stir together with the grains. 
(Note: My rule of thumb is to double the respective cooking time for the ingredients as the fundamental of double boiling is cooking with indirect hear, thus implying an increased cooking time).

5. At 15 minutes to the countdown (10 minutes if the fish is not very thick), place the fish into a bowl / plate before putting it on top of the ceramic pot to steam. I prefer to steam the fish separately so that I can double check for any fine or small bones as I flake it after it's cooked.

6. Once the time is up (my induction cooker has a timer), remove the steamed fish to cool slightly. Add spring onions to the porridge & stir them in to allow it to be 'cooked' by the piping hot porridge. Flake the fish & serve it warm with the porridge.

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