Strangely on the little street in Singapore called Geylang, a particular amphibian is consumed more often than anywhere in the world. I am talking about frogs and frog porridge on offer along Geylang Road.
Frog legs are a popular dish in French and Chinese cuisine and are also eaten in other parts of Europe, Indonesia, and the Southern U.S. In France, frog legs are known as cuisses de grenouilles. The meat must be cleaned and skinned before use and is often sold ready to cook. In Chinese cooking, the entire frog is served.
Geylang Lor 9 Fresh Frog Porridge
They were the first to offer claypot frog porridge in Geylang. The first store was established on the street Lor 9 Geylang with a unique recipe of frog porridge. Since then, they have two more branches in Singapore and stores in Malaysia, China, Cambodia and Vietnam. Who would have thought a frog could jump so far and wide.
Geylang Lor 9 Fresh Frog Porridge was founded in 1995. Although Singaporeans, especially the Cantonese, have been putting frog legs into porridge, but they were the first to introduce farmed raised bull frogs in a claypot combined with Geylang Lor 9’s secret recipe sauce.
The kitchen is just an ordinary food store in a typical local coffeeshop. When they started, the store was rented and there were others selling BBQ seafood, fried oyster omelettes and fried Hokkien noodles. These days, the whole coffeeshop was owned by them, which meant that the rest of the stores were all taken over and they have expanded their menu.
But everyone came for the claypot frog and porridge. Prior to Covid, the crowd simply overflowed onto the sideways and into the alleyways. At its peak time, there were at least twenty tables completely filled and more queueing patiently on Lor 9. These days, the crowd was =more tamed, but the takeaway orders boomed.
Frog meat tastes like chicken but has the texture of fish. My mom used to give me frog legs to let me grow calf muscles. Yes, Chinese believe that we eat what we want to enhance 以形补形. And porridge is comfort food. Therefore this combination goes down very well during the pandemic and they transitioned very well during this period when F&B seemed to be the hardest hit.
Since the beginning of their operations, they only offer two flavours – without chilli or with chilli. Both versions are cooked with the secret sauce, but the Kungpao 宫保 is just Ginger and Scallions 姜葱 cooked with a copious amount of chilli. I could not say which one is better, as I often find myself in pain with the heat from the Kungpao frogs, which can be neutralised by the sweet and savoury Ginger and Scallions frogs.
The best way to enjoy it, in my humble opinion, is to order a plain porridge and one each of the two flavours. The porridge is gooey and thick, and if you leave it alone, it will become a brick of soft rice. Take a bowl of porridge and pour liberally the sauce onto it, the porridge transforms into a brown bowl of ultimate deliciousness and umami. Strangely, you cannot overcook these frogs. The meat remains tender and soft despite reheating or long cooking.
You got to try frog porridge, and if possible in Geylang, when you are in Singapore. There are others on the same street of Geylang, like the Michelin-recommended Eminent in Lor 19 and G7 (Sin Ma) in Lor 3. Try this one, or all three and leave a comment to tell me which one you preferred. I have marked all three on the map.
Ribitt Ribitt Ribitt
Geylang Lor 9 Fresh Frog Porridge (Honten)
235 Geylang Rd ( Lor 9 ), Singapore 388761
Tel : +65 8688 8839
Visited in May 2022