Savory Fish Sauce Caramel Porridge with Sweet Potatoes

This satisfying bowl of multigrain porridge—made with long grain brown rice, quinoa, and amaranth—is flavored with coconut milk and topped with sweet potatoes seasoned with a splash of fresh lime juice. The fish sauce caramel is both mixed into the porridge as well as drizzled on top just before serving for a sweet and savory umami hit. Remove the porridge from the heat when the mixture is still a little loose. It will set up by the time it hits the table. You will have a little extra fish sauce caramel leftover—drizzle it on shrimp, steak, or seared vegetables.

savory porridge
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs


Fish Sauce Caramel

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup fish sauce (preferably a brand with no sugar added, such as Red Boat)

  • ¼ cup water


  • cup uncooked long-grain brown rice

  • 8 cups water

  • cup uncooked tricolor or white quinoa, rinsed

  • cup uncooked whole-grain amaranth

  • 2 cups well-shaken and stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk (from 2 [13.5-ounce] cans)

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 medium (about 1 pound, 5 ounces total) sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 lime, halved; ½ juiced enough for 2 teaspoons juice, ½ cut into 4 wedges for serving

  • Toasted coconut chips, for serving

  • Thinly sliced red Fresno chiles, for serving


Make the fish sauce caramel:

  1. Bring all ingredients to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium, and cook, stirring often to dissolve sugar, until mixture is foamy and turns amber, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Cooled sauce can be refrigerated airtight for up to 1 week.

Make the porridge:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Bring rice and water to a boil in a large saucepan over high. Reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Stir in quinoa and amaranth. Continue to gently simmer, stirring and scraping bottom of pan occasionally to prevent sticking, until water is absorbed and mixture is creamy, about 25 minutes. Turn off heat; stir in coconut milk, 5 tablespoons of the Fish Sauce Caramel, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt. Let stand 5 minutes. (Mixture will thicken as it stands.)

  2. While grains cook, toss together sweet potatoes, oil, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until tender, 25 to 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Transfer hot potatoes to a heatproof bowl, and toss with lime juice.

  3. Divide porridge between 4 warm shallow bowls. Top evenly with sweet potatoes, and drizzle each with 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce Caramel. Top with coconut chips and chile slices. Serve with lime wedges.

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