Lately as the days are getting colder I’ve been craving something warm and fulfilling to eat when I wake up. I’ve rediscovered congee (a savoury rice porridge) and it has been doing the trick. It’s easy to make, you can go through endless variations and it’s one of those things that you can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
My recipe is based on Chowhound’s recipe for chicken and ginger congee which I adapted slightly. You can make congee with pork, beef and seafood, but I prefer to make it with chicken.
The ingredients are for a big pan, let’s say around a week’s worth of congee breakfast bowls. I make mine on Sunday and only need to reheat a bit for breakfast every day.
6 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
4 boneless chicken thighs, skin removed and trimmed of excess fat. sliced in big chunks (optional)
1 cup long-grain white rice or risotto rice
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, skin on and sliced into 4 pieces
2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more as needed
Pinch freshly ground white pepper, plus more as needed
3 stalks of pak choi, chopped
3 wood ear mushroom, soaked in boiling hot water beforehand and thinly sliced
Coarsely chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Thinly sliced spring onions, for garnish
Place everything except the pak choi, mushroom, parsley and spring onions in a big pan with a heavy bottom at medium heat. When it starts boiling place the lid on it and turn the heat low. Let it simmer for 1hr-1.5hr until it resembles a porridge. When it’s done, turn off the heat and add the pak choi and wood ear mushroom to the rice and stir. Add more salt if needed.
Scoop the porridge in a few bowls and garnish with parsley and spring onions. Serve with chilli oil or my spicy kecap manis (shameless self promotion).