Laba porridge not just fare for the festival
Following Chinese folk custom, people in each household eat Laba porridge on the eighth day of the 12th month of the lunar calendar. Though this year’s festival has passed, sweet Laba porridge remains a tasty treat that people may dine on now and then.
The recipe for Laba porridge varies, but the traditional dish usually contains grain, dried lotus seeds, longan, gingko, dried red dates and other ingredients.
A chef will first clean up the dried lotus seeds and boil them for about an hour, then use a slow heat to cook the grain. When the grain begins to form congee, the chef will mix other ingredients into it and cook for a while longer, finally adding some sugar to give the porridge its sweet taste.
According to traditional Chinese custom, eating Laba congee is meant to bring abundance and a good harvest.
In addition to its tasty flavor, Laba porridge is said to be good for people with insomnia, poor memory or weak nerves.