Congee for the Soul

I’ve been thinking about starting a cooking blog for a long time and just never got around to it…too busy watching reruns of Barefoot Contessa and Gilmore Girls, reading cookbooks and other cooking blogs I guess. I resolved this year to drink more water and my husband quickly informed me I had set the bar too low for myself. So, I’m hoping on taking you all on this journey with me and my tiny kitchen.

Congee, with toppings. Yum!

My husband went to bed last night with a fever of 101, which later today shot up to 104 (needless to say he is immobilized in bed, in a semi-conscious state). So, today was the perfect day for congee. For those who don’t know, congee is like chicken soup for Chinese people. For as long as I remember, whenever I was sick with a flu or stomach virus or anything else, my mom would make congee (which I actually hated as a child and only developed an appreciation for more recently). It follows then that when I came home to a bed-ridden husband this afternoon, I took right to making congee. And actually, I’m embarrassed to admit…it was my first time…ever. But I took to the internet and found a couple of recipes that I made into a hybrid and low and behold, congee!! I never knew it was so easy…

After about 30 minutes of cooking
After over an hour of cooking

Congee (Serves 4-6)
3/4 cup of rice, rinsed
10 cups of chicken stock or water (I used a combination and threw in some chicken bones from the freezer)
1 inch piece of ginger, sliced
salt to taste

*Toppings (pick and choose):
Scallions, thinly sliced
Nori rice seasoning (such as:
Soy sauce or fish sauce
Sesame oil
White pepper
Fried shallots
Preserved egg
Pickled vegetables

  1. Combine rinsed rice, stock and/or water, chicken bones if using and sliced ginger in a large pot. Bring to boil. Stir pot, scraping any rice stuck on bottom. Turn down to simmer. Cook for 2.5 to 3 hours, stirring every 15 minutes or so to ensure the rice is not stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  2. Taste and add a bit of salt to taste. I added about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Congee might taste bland but will be further seasoned by addition of toppings.
  3. Add toppings.

*Notes: I used scallions, a few drops of fish sauce, a splash of sesame oil, a pinch of white pepper, 1 tbsp nori seasoning, 1 tbsp scallions, and 1 tbsp of fried shallots.



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