Congee…Asian comfort food at it’s best

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Can you imagine waking up on the morning of your birthday sick?  Wouldn’t that just suck balls.  Well that’s exactly what happened to the Dr last week.  The trooper even went to work that day and then still put on his happy birthday face on for his birthday dinner that night.  Then it all went downhill from there…

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So what do you do for a sick loved one??  Well normally I would have gone down the Jewish medicinal route and knocked together a healing chicken soup but this time I decided to take a trip down Eastern way and cook what I would call the Asian chicken soup.  Congee.

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For those of you who have never encountered Congee, it’s essentially what I think is a cross between a rice porridge and chicken soup, but the best bit about it is all the toppings you flavour it with.  Pretty much every country in the Asian continent has their version of Congee, whether it is Jook, Okayu the Japanese version or Chao, the Vietnamese take on it and is often served in exactly this situation, to a sick loved one.  Buuut, don’t think you need to wait till you’re sick to eat it, it’s comfort food at it’s very best and quite frankly I could pretty much eat this every week.

Congee

Serves 4

What you need

  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 L chicken salt (home made or low salt)
  • 750 ml water
  • 4 x 2-3mm slices of ginger, bruised with the back of a knife
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 chicken skinless marylands (Leg and thigh of chicken)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • pinch of white pepper

Congee Toppings

  • soy sauce, just a drizzle
  • sesame oil, few drops
  • julienned ginger
  • lap cheong sausage, heated and crisped up in a frypan
  • Coriander, leaves picked
  • spring onions, finely chopped
  • fried shallots
  • white pepper

what to do:

In a heavy based pot, throw in the rice, chicken stock, ginger slices, spring onion, chicken, salt and pepper.  Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for about 45 mins to 1 hour or until it comes to your preferred consistency.  While it is simmering, stir it every now and then so the rice does stick to the bottom.  Remove the ginger slices and spring onion and the chicken.  Shred the chicken with two forks and put it back into the rice.  Check seasoning and adjust with salt.

Once the congee is the way you like it, it’s all about the toppings.  It’s totally up to what you  dress it up with but this time I’ve used the above toppings which I really love the combination of but you could also top it with things like a soft boiled egg, shitake mushrooms, fried puffs of tofu, peanuts, seafood and the list goes on.

 

 

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  • Grace

    That’s the most beautifully plated congee I’ve seen! Now I just have to figure out the recipe for fried savory crullers and I’m all set. Thanks