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Just-Right Porridge Best of Flavor 2017

Golden Rice Porridge Bowl with pork belly, boiled peanuts, Calabrese chile and six-minute egg

Robert Phalen

It’s as if Southern grits and Asian rice porridge joined forces to produce a cross-cultural brunch item. Mary Hoopa’s House of Fried Chicken & Oysters, opening in June, will showcase Southern regional cuisine, but with a cross-cultural bent—hence the Golden Rice Porridge Bowl.

“The dish is fairly simple: We take all these great grains and mill them together, then cook them as you would cook grits, creating a wonderful, nutty porridge,” says Chef/Owner Robert Phalen, of Atlanta’s One Eared Stag fame. “Everything we add to the top is a twist or play on what you might expect to find in ramen. The porridge is a vessel for all the earthy, vibrant flavors of the toppings.”

The result is an approachable, comforting-yet-different dish. The base is a hearty combination of farro, Carolina Gold rice and hominy. Pork belly and boiled peanuts keep it anchored in Southern tradition, while Calabrian chile, radish, avocado and a six-minute egg round out the eclectic profile. “It has all the components of a delicious breakfast sampler,” says Phalen. “It’s a one-stop-shop kind of dish that has flavor and depth.”

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