From rice to delight: A Norsk rice porridge to convert skeptics

Photo: Caroline Caron-Phelps Cranberries add a pop of color to this already Christmasy food—perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dessert.

Photo: Caroline Caron-Phelps
Cranberries add a pop of color to this already Christmasy food—perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dessert.

Caroline Caron-Phelps
Pickled Plum

What a delicious breakfast treat! This Norwegian porridge recipe is creamy, salty, and sweet and is served with a sprinkle of cinnamon and dried cranberries on top. Norwegians certainly know how to turn plain rice into something truly delectable. So delicious in fact that even people who aren’t rice pudding fans will scarf down a bowl of Norwegian porridge in record time.

Traditional Norwegian porridge is usually served for lunch the day before Christmas. The leftovers are then used to make riskrem (rice cream), a dessert made with cold rice porridge topped with whipped cream and raspberry (or strawberry) sauce. A whole almond is then hidden in the dessert and the person who finds it wins a marzipan candy in the shape of a pig.

I’ve made a few minor changes to the traditional recipe because I wanted to give it a healthy kick. I cut down the sugar by half and added honey instead, and I am using 1% milk as opposed to whole milk. I have to admit I was a little nervous that the porridge would come out lacking richness, but it turns out using 1% milk didn’t affect the texture at all! The porridge is still creamy, thick, and incredibly satisfying.

It’s the perfect balance of salty and sweet and comes with a lovely hint of vanilla. The addition of dried cranberries gives this porridge a pop of color and fruitiness. You can do with or without or substitute it for other dried fruits or even nuts! Play around with the toppings until you find the right combination for you.

Photo: Caroline Caron-Phelps

Photo: Caroline Caron-Phelps

Norwegian Porridge with Dried Cranberries
Adapted with permission from Pickled Plum
¾ cup white, medium grain rice
1 ½ cup water
2 ½ cups 1% milk
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsps. vanilla extract
Cinnamon powder for topping
Dried cranberries for topping
Butter for topping

In a medium size pot, add rice and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a gentle simmer, cover and leave for 10 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.

Add a third of the milk, stir, cover, and leave until the consistency thickens. Add a little more milk every time the porridge’s consistency thickens—approximately every 5-10 minutes or so. Repeat until all the milk is used, porridge is thick, and rice is tender. The entire process should take 45-55 minutes.

Add butter, honey, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract and stir well.

Turn the heat off and serve porridge in bowls topped with a small pat of butter (optional), a little cinnamon powder, and dried cranberries.

Serves 3-4.

Caroline Caron-Phelps is a French Canadian-Japanese food blogger based in New York. Her food blog is a collection of over 600 recipes with a focus on healthier eating and living. She is also a contributor for Huffpost Taste and Yahoo. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Ben and three-year-old cat Tsukune (Japanese for chicken meatball).

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 2, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.