Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Perfect Porridge Porridge + Puffs in Los Angeles creates explosively flavorful porridge bowls that feature elaborate layers of ingredients

Comforting and endlessly customizable, Asian rice porridge represents an opportunity on more mainstream menus

While we’ve seen creative new variations of the Asian rice porridge congee, it has yet to achieve the mainstream acceptance we have long anticipated.

The recent opening of a permanent location for chef Minh Phan’s pop-up Porridge + Puffs in Los Angeles may help advance this opportunity. Made with heirloom rice blends and extreme care, her porridge bowls feature elaborate layers of ingredients that are explosively flavorful.

The beef in her signature Short Rib Porridge is braised with housemade five-spice and jujube dates, and topped with turmeric-fermented mustard greens.

The Poultry and Mushroom Porridge layers chicken, turkey and mushrooms with celery pickles and crispy shallots.

Most complex is the Spice-Braised Sausage Porridge, flavored with fennel in black-bean sauce, ginger, nectarines and black-eyed-pea miso.

And the perfect egg topper comes in the form of Phan’s Hibiscus and Shiso Pickled Six Minute Egg.

The base of the dish is extremely cost-effective even when using heirloom rice varieties, and execution at service time can be very quick.

Rice Reimagined – fueled by a number of significant drivers, chefs are taking rice to the next level, making it one of our top 10 flavor trends for 2019.

From the Jan/Feb 2019 Top 10 Trends issue of Flavor & the Menu magazine. Read the full issue online or check if you qualify for a free print subscription.



About The Author


Gerry Ludwig is a nationally recognized food writer, speaker and trend tracker, and leads the Culinary R&D department at Gordon Food Service, based in Grand Rapids, Mich. Using a proprietary street-level research method as his exclusive data source, Gerry and his team create trends-based menu solutions that are executed at the operator level by the company’s team of culinary specialists. Gerry is a contributing writer for Flavor & The Menu and conducts seminars and workshops at numerous industry events in both the United States and abroad, and oversees customer-facing restaurant research tours in major cities throughout the United States.