Rice porridge – the Danish way
Eating rice porridge for Christmas is an old Danish tradition.
In the old Danish Christmas stories, they write about the gnomes that live in the countryside at farm attics.
They helped the farmer all year and all they wanted was porridge at Christmas time.
If they didn’t get that – the farmer was in big trouble.
In the old days, rice porridge was eaten as a starter on Christmas Eve.
– So, no one was hungry when the expensive roasted goose was served.
For some Danes, rice porridge is a dish that is eaten year-round – for dinner or breakfast.
And for others, it is something that they maybe eat in December, or they’ll make rice porridge IF they make a homemade version of the famous Danish rice pudding “Risalamande” for Christmas dessert.
Very few Danes today, follow the old traditions of eating rice porridge on Christmas Eve, before the big Christmas dinner with duck or goose, and/or the Danish pork roast “flæskesteg”.
But that might change – with all the focus on climate friendliness and “eat less meat”.
You can go directly to How to make Danish rice porridge easily in the microwave or read on.
Recipe in Danish here.
Danish rice porridge
There are many ways to make classic rice porridge in Denmark – eg. first on the stove, then in a hay box or under the duvet…
I’ve tried A LOT of methods.
My porridge burned MANY times when I made rice porridge the traditional way – cooked in a pot on the stove.
But it hasn’t done that since I started the microwave method
– and that’s the method you get today.
The recipe for rice porridge is a classic – the method may not be.
When you cook your porridge, you decide how much or how little sugar, salt, and vanilla you put in it.
I have seasoned the rice porridge to fit my taste buds.
The same goes for the texture – some want a “dry” porridge and others a more creamy or liquid porridge.
Remember – the porridge will become firmer as it cools.
If the porridge has become too stiff, you might want to stir some more milk in before serving.
Porridge – best with toppings
You can top your rice porridge with almost EVERYTHING.
You can use cinnamon, cinnamon sugar, or make a Christmas-spiced sugar where, instead of cinnamon, you mix the sugar with cake spice – my Christmas favourite is my homemade pumpkin spice mixed with sugar.
You can also use applesauce, fruit compote or jam on your porridge.
For breakfast use mixed berries (fresh or frozen), pieces of orange, pear, or apple – they all go well with cinnamon.
The classic Danish dinner version: rice porridge sprinkled with cinnamon and a dollop of real salted butter in the centre.
I use applesauce instead of butter.
Faster and easier
At Christmas time, there are SO many things to do – that is why I like recipes that are faster and/or easier to use.
This recipe is both faster and easier.
It takes between 40-60 minutes from start to finished rice porridge – and most of the time, the porridge is in the micro.
Because the porridge is made in the microwave, it does not burn – even if you do not stir it constantly.
It frees up time to do other things.
But if the pot is too small, it can boil over.
REMEMBER it is ALWAYS a good idea to make a HUGE portion of porridge.
Because you need the porridge for rice pudding – Risalamande, or for rice pancakes in Danish called “klatkager” translated to “dollop cakes”.
This recipe is suitable for 2-3 servings of rice porridge – or 1-2 servings of rice porridge AND a portion of porridge for rice pudding/risalamande.
(Of course, it depends on whether it is a large adult or small child that you feed.)
How to make Danish rice porridge easily in the microwave
2-4 persons (depending on the size of the persons) approx. 1 kg of rice porridge.
Preparation and stirring: 5-10 minutes
In the microwave total: approx. 30 minutes – max. 48 minutes (depending on your porridge rice)
400 g water (4 dl) (+ water for rinsing)
190 g porridge rice (2 dl)
¼-½ tsp. salt
30 g sugar *
1 vanilla pod or ½-1 tsp. vanilla powder *
600 g milk (whole milk – for rice pudding) (6 dl)
Maybe 100-200 g (1-2 dl) extra milk
3-4 l pot or dish that can be used in the microwave, preferably a plastic pot with lid
A lid or clingfilm to cover the pot
Rice porridge toppings
You can use:
Cinnamon, cinnamon sugar or cake spice sugar **
Applesauce, fruit compote or jam
Mixed berries, pieces of orange, pears, or apple
Rice pudding – Risalamande
½-1 tbsp. sugar (so that the porridge does not form a skin)
Rinse the rice in cold water.
Mix water, salt, and rice in a bowl with a lid (or cover with clingfilm, remember to punch some holes in it).
Boil the mixture at maximum power for 5 minutes.
Continue to cook, now at low power (350w/40%) for 4 minutes.
Mix the porridge with milk.
Stretch the vanilla pod lengthwise with a sharp knife and scrape out the grains – or use vanilla powder.
Mash the vanilla seeds with a little sugar, to prevent them from sticking together, it also makes the vanilla seeds easier to distribute in the rice porridge.
Put the rest of the vanilla pod and the vanilla sugar in the bowl, stir.
Do not cover the bowl!
Boil the mixture at maximum power for 4 minutes.
Stir, and cook at low power (350w/40%) for 15-30 minutes.
Check the porridge – at the latest after 15 minutes, stir again.
Check if the porridge is done.
If the rice is not done, continue to cook at low power.
Cook the rice porridge maximum 35 minutes.
Adjust the texture of the porridge to suit you, add 100-200 grams (1-2 dl) of milk if the rice porridge seems too stiff.
Serve your rice porridge with applesauce and cinnamon sugar **, with fruit or berries – or quite classic with a lump of butter and cinnamon(sugar).
“Risalamande” – rice pudding
If you are using the rice porridge for rice pudding – or the famous Danish dessert “Risalamande”, sprinkle it with sugar before placing a piece of clingfilm close to the porridge surface to prevent the porridge to form a skin.
Cover the pot/bowl and refrigerate at once ***.
* Use a vanilla pod if you want to make a luxury rice porridge – or are using it for the dessert “Risalamande”.
You can easily replace sugar and vanilla pod with homemade vanilla sugar for everyday life.
** Try to replace cinnamon sugar with a Christmas seasoned sugar.
Mix your favourite cake spice with sugar and use it on top of your porridge – my favourite is my homemade pumpkin spice
*** Rice used in other dishes should be refrigerated at once.