Congee: Like Nestling In Your Mother’s Arms.

March 16th, 2011 § 1 comment

Congee is the Queen of Comfort Foods. Soothing. Nourishing. Savory. Infinitely flexible. Essentially, congee is rice porridge. Bears a close resemblance to soupy grits. Doesn’t sound like much. But, HG and hundreds of millions of Chinese can’t be wrong (and not just Chinese, but almost every Asian country has its own version of Congee) It is very yummy stuff, indeed. Very addictive. When the world has been treating you shabbily and Mom isn’t around, turn to congee for comfort.

Okay. How to make it? That very good food blog,, has a sure fire recipe for a big pot of congee. Here goes: 10 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable). Two cups of rice. Two tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar. Five slices of ginger. Tablespoon of kosher salt. Bring these ingredients to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and keep pot covered. Stir occasionally. Cook for one to one and 1/2 hours until it has a porridge-like consistency. Add more stock (or water) if it gets too thick.

Now, you can get creative. Add to your bowl some left over chicken (as HG mentioned in yesterday’s Spatchcocked Chicken Post). Give it a hit of sesame oil. Maybe some sriracha for heat and spice. Sliced scallions. Parsley and/or cilantro. HG likes to top it with Planter’s Salted Cocktail Peanuts (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it). When HG lived in Vancouver he dined often at Congee House, a perfectly named restaurant. HG watched patrons add black hundred year eggs, bok choy, shrimp, duck, roast pork, chicken feet and more to their steaming bowls of congee. As HG said: Congee is flexible. HG’s congee favorite: Buy some shucked oysters at a Whole Foods fish counter. Chop coarsely. Add to your congee with some parsley and a bit of soy sauce. You will be grateful to HG.

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