How to Make the Best Congee
What is Congee?
Congee, or porridge, is rice cooked with lots of water until the rice grains are burst open (almost like grits). I love congee. Some people only have cravings for congee when they feel sick. But I like it all the time - the smell of the scallions blended in with the boiled rice is just so soothing! One of my favorites is "pork with preserved egg" congee. Sprinkle some scallions and chopped fried dough - a warm, delicious meal is ready. It is best served hot; though cold congee tastes just as wonderful.
It's easy to make congee since you don't really need to follow any recipe. So long as you cook the base to perfection - I call it base, which is the right amount of rice with the right amount of water cooked to the right consistency - you always get the best congee! The best part is that you can add any ingredients you want to make your favorite congee.
What goes in my congee?
- 1/2 cup rice
- pork (about 2 oz); you can add more if you like more meat
- preserved egg (preserved duck eggs)
- oil (vegetable or corn)
- fried dough
- Soak the rice in water for at 30 minutes or longer.
- Cut the pork into thin slices. Marinate with oil, salt, soy sauce, and cornstarch (about 1 teaspoon for each). To make tender pork - add 3 teaspoons of water to the pork and mix well.
- Fill soup pot with 7 cups of water. Add the presoaked rice. Secret: Pour in 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of salt (Need not be exact).
- Bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce to medium high heat. Let the rice boil for 30 minutes then reduce to a lower heat setting and simmer for 1 hour or longer depending on the texture of the congee you desire.
- Add pork to congee and bring to a boil. Then add in the preserved eggs. Let it come to a boil. Add salt to taste. Note: Taste first before adding the salt - Remember you added salt in the beginning?
- Spinkle scallions and fried dough over congee. (You can add a pinch of MSG - I feel it brings out the flavor). Ready and serve.