Tomato gooey rice

Gooey rice or porridge is great for letting your kids practice feeding themselves with a spoon.

I usually use risotto rice to make this recipe for my son, who is, of course, in love with rice in almost any form. (There’s no doubt he’s half Chinese!) Gooey rice or porridge is great for letting your kids practice feeding themselves with a spoon. You can step in when things get too messy.
A few weeks ago, I was visiting my sister in Ottawa, and my son was being fussy about his food. I think it was because he was jet lagged, in a new environment, or maybe he’s just entering the “terrible twos”! He didn’t want the foods he usually likes. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any risotto rice, but we had some Japanese rice, which is starchy enough to make a gooey rice and mimic a risotto. I threw in some tomato paste, onion, Parmesan cheese, and water. Regular rice definitely takes longer to cook compared to Italian risotto rice, so instead of 30-35 min, it took me about 45-50 min to cook. It turned out great, and it was a hit with both my son and my nephews. 

Makes 2-3 toddler-sized portions.


  • 1 cup Japanese rice
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 800 ml to 1 L chicken stock
  • 1-2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2-3 tbsp grated Parmesan 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe Preparation 

Melt butter in a medium frying pan on medium-high heat. Sauté onion until translucent but not browned. Add rice and stir to combine, cooking for 2-3 minutes until rice is a bit shiny. Add about a cup of stock, or just enough to cover the rice’s surface. Let the rice simmer in the stock, turning the heat down to medium or medium-low if it gets too hot. 
Once you see that the stock has been soaked up almost completely by the rice, add another cup of stock and simmer again. Repeat this process until rice is cooked through. You want the rice to be very wet and sticky. If you run out of chicken stock, you can either make more or just add more water into the rice mixture. The Parmesan and tomato paste will give enough flavour to the rice. If you would prefer less salty rice, feel free to replace the stock with water. 
In about 45 minutes, your gooey rice should be done. Turn heat off, add Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper. 

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