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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chinese Rice Porridge (Congee)

This is the most fragrant and therapeutic dish ever. I grew up with this rice porridge. In a lot of households, when you are sick, your mom makes you chicken noodle soup or hot water with lemon. In our house, it was congee. Whenever I was sick, this plain porridge made with chicken stock and a little green onion was the perfect remedy for a cold.

However, I don't only eat this porridge when I am feeling under the weather. I love to make a big pot of it at home, especially in the winter, to cure those winter blues. I also enjoy eating congee in Chinese noodle houses. So much so, that I struggle whenever I go to a Chinese restaurant as I am faced with the dilemna of ordering noodles or a bowl of this wonderful concoction. 

 This rice porridge can be eaten at any time of day. You can eat it simply for breakfast-- plain or with crushed peanuts and green onion, or you can enjoy it as a hearty lunch or dinner with meat, Chinese sausage, egg,  or Chinese mushrooms. The combinations are endless and so tasty.

My sister makes this porridge in a crock pot and lets it cook for hours. I cook mine on the stove in a large pot. Be sure to make lots-- you will be glad you did.

Chinese Rice Porridge (Congee)
Makes a lot

1/4 cup Ginger, minced
1 cup rice (white or brown)
5 cups Chicken Broth
3-6 cups Water, plus more when reheating

Green onions
Crushed Peanuts
Chinese sausage
Chicken, cooked and shredded
Ground Meat, cooked
Chinese mushrooms
Salted Duck egg

Place the ginger, rice, broth and 3 cups of water into a large pot. Heat to a boil, reduce to low, cover and simmer for about 2 hours, or until rice is broken down. The porridge should end up the consistency of a pureed soup (like pea or lentil). If it's too thick, add some more water.

If you choose to use Chinese mushrooms (re-hydrated and sliced), sausage (sliced), dried shrimp or salted duck egg, add these about halfway through the cooking process. The rest of the additions can be added before serving. Salt to taste.

My favorite way to eat this at any time of day is with some sliced green onion and salt.Yummy!

1 comment:

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