Congee Rice Porridge Recipe
How many ways can you call this rice porrdge?
- congee or conjee (Tamil)
- kanji (Tamil/Tulu)
- kaṇhji (Malayalam)
- pakhal bhat (Oriya)
- ganji (Kannada/Telugu)
- juk (Cantonese, Korean)
- moe (Hokkien and Teochew)
- zhou (Mandarin)
- cháo (Vietnamese)
- deythuk (Tibetan)
- chok (Thai)
- kayu (Japanese)
- lúgaw (Tagalog)
- Bubur or kanji (Indonesian and Malay)
- jaou (Bengali)
- canja (Portuguese)
- xifan in some Chinese provinces
Congee with Brown Rice and Fish
Congee is a delicious and comforting bowl of rice porridge that is perfect for a chilly day or a hungover morning. There are many different versions of congee, and also more than ten different ways of calling it.
Some like it thick while others like it more runny. I prefer mine to be somewhere in between, topped with all sorts of fun toppings including chives, ginger, pepper, Sirhacha hot sauce, and fried onions.
Every time I make a huge pot of this comfort food, I think of my dad. My dad and his sister used to own a rice porridge stand in south Vietnam, where they were famous for their chicken "chao" and Vietnamese iced coffee. Rice porridge and coffee were the only two things on their menu, and people would always stop by for some when they were in the area.
Creamy and thick like porridge, congee is most often eaten for breakfast. It is usually cooked with fish or chicken. For this recipe, I decided to add fish.
When it comes to choosing your fish, I recommend a firm white fish such as Rock fish, bass, or even cat fish. Traditionally, in South Vietnam they use Snakehead.
Of course that also means the traditional way to prepare it is to use a whole fish to make your own stock. When I am cooking for a large dinner party, I would resort to the traditional and more time consuming process. To save time, I simply use a fish fillet and canned stock. The flavors will still be absolutely delicious.
I will let you in on a secret step to really bring out the fish flavor. This is one extra step that is so worth the effort. Do not skip it! Trust me.
Most recipes will tell you to slice the fish up, and dump it to the broth. I recommend that you sauté the sliced pieces of fish in garlic and onions to really bring out the flavor. Then dump it in the broth.
Rice Porridge Recipe (Fish Congee)
**Makes about 6 servings
- 1 cup brown rice
- 6 cups of water (or substitute for 3 cups of fish stock)
- 1.5 lb whole firm white fish fillet such as snapper, stripe bass, rock fish, basa fish, catfish
- 1.5 ts sea salt
- 2 large knob of peeled ginger
- 3 shallots
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 medium onion peeled
- 2 tbs sesame oil
- quality fish sauce (I love Red Boat...it makes all the difference!)
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion and cilantro
- Garnish: fried shallots, fresh cracked pepper, bean sprouts (optional), Sriracha, or more sliced ginger.
Instructions for Rice Porridge Recipe
- Wash brown rice, drain in small holed colander.
- Cut or mince the garlic, onions, ginger and shallot. Marinate the fish with sesame oil, fish sauce, salt, pepper, garlic, onions, ginger, and shallot. Leave in refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Cook brown rice in water.
- Meanwhile, sauté the marinated fish with a bit of sesame oil (or olive oil).
- By now, the rice should expand and look like porridge. You can add more water if you prefer a more thinner porridge. Return the sauteed fish to the porridge and season to taste with more salt or fish sauce.
- Serve in soup bowls and garnish with green onions/cilantro, fried shallots, julienne ginger, and fresh cracked pepper.