Welcome back everybody, my name is Ryan, and I’m here again to share another one of my favorite childhood recipes! This time, I’ll be walking you through how to make classic congee.
Every weekend when I was younger, I would wake up to the sound of my mom in the kitchen. The house echoed with the clanging of kitchenware, rhythms of knives against the cutting board, and harmonies of my parent’s laughter followed by the animated voices on the television. What may have been a cacophony to others was a symphonic solace for me. Food was my first comfort.
This was especially true for congee. Whenever I was sick, my mom would go get my favorite toppings from our local markets — chicken, Chinese doughnuts, and century eggs. As I watched her wash the rice and prepare the other ingredients, I knew I would be okay.
Although I no longer live at home, I still catch myself craving congee during fall and winter as flu season approaches (get your shots everybody!), or even when I’m feeling down.
Congee is meant to heal, so if you ever need a pick-me-up, I recommend following along.
- 1 cup of jasmine rice
- 6-7 cups of water or chicken stock
- 1 ½ tablespoon of fish sauce (optional)
- 2 ½ tablespoons of soy sauce (optional)
- Sesame oil for garnish
- Cracked or ground white pepper to taste
Serving Size: 3-4 People
- Wash the rice thoroughly until the water is no longer cloudy. Drain the rice and add it to a large pot.
- Add the water or chicken stock into the pot and bring to a boil. Let the mixture boil on medium-high heat for about fifteen minutes. Once the rice begins to cook, turn the heat down to medium-low for a gentle simmer.
- Let the congee cook until the rice begins to bloom. Stir occasionally to prevent rice from sticking to the pot.
- (Optional) As the mixture thickens, pour in the fish sauce and soy sauce and stir until the congee is uniform in color.
- Reduce the heat to low and keep the congee on the burner until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Serve the congee with a drizzle of sesame oil and some white pepper on top.
Since congee is such a versatile dish, you can pair it with practically anything. Below are some of me and my friend’s go-to toppings.
- Adding fish sauce and soy sauce gives the congee some depth and complements the toppings above.
- You can always increase or decrease the amount of water in your congee as you see fit.
- I hope you get well soon!