Friday, December 23, 2011

Congee Recipe

What are you going to do with that leftover rice from your rice with tomato and egg dish (see last post?)

Well, you could make fried rice, or you could make congee. Some regions in China do use leftover rice from the day before to make a rice soup for breakfast and they serve it with a type of fried, unsweetened doughnut. They dip the doughnut into the congee and then use the last of the doughnut to scoop the rice out of the bowl.

Here is the recipe I used to make the congee I served my kiddos during these past Christmas parties:

Leftover rice, any amount

1 small carrot, shredded

1 small potato, peeled and cubed

2TBSP garlic

1/2 cup minced onion (or leek – I prefer leeks. Did you get that idea already?)

I cube of chicken bouillon, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a large pot (or a rice steamer, if you have one)

Stir to blend all ingredients, breaking up any clumps of rice.

Add water to a ratio of two to one. Twice as much water as you have rice/potato/carrot.

Cover and allow to simmer for an hour or more. DO NOT allow all the liquid to evaporate.

If using a rice cooker, allow to steam for approximately 30 minutes.

Congee is done when the potatoes are soft and the rice has ‘swelled’. The grains look like they are split and peeling back. You can make your congee thicker/thinner by increasing/decreasing the water amount. This dish can be reheated.

I hope you’ve enjoyed some of these recipes, and maybe even added your own variations to them. As you can see, Chinese cooking is rather simple: simple list of ingredients and short cooking times.

I am by no means an official Chinese chef so I hope no authentic Chinese chef gets offended at my assertion of their cuisine being simple and hunts me down with a meat cleaver. So I offer this claim as well:

While simple in ingredients, the prep work is strenuous but the end result is a complex blend of tastes, pleasing to the palate.

And that’s the truth!

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