Pao fan is actually a relatively common dish in Chinese restaurants. You may wonder what's the difference between pao fan and porridge. In terms of appearance and ingredients used, there seems to be little difference. However, there is a huge difference taste-wise due to the way they are being cooked.

Porridge is cooked by simmering rice grains in water / broth. This means that the rice grains have had the opportunity to absorb the liquid. It will therefore expand and soften.

Pao fun is a different ball game. The rice is first steamed. The rice is either simmered in the broth briefly or doused with the broth just before service. This means that the rice grains remain distinct and fluffy.

To be honest, I don't see the fuss over pao fun because it is no different from ordering a bowl of seafood soup with rice and pouring your rice into the soup.

The soup broth is therefore key to this dish. I like Mun's pork-based broth which was sweet, hearty and comforting. At $6.90 per bowl, it kinda hits the sweet spot for me, perfect for a cold windy day.

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