Easy and super healthy
Congee is a creamy (non-dairy) rice porridge, where the rice is cooked in lots of water or stock until it loses its shape and breaks down becoming easier to digest and often used as a health remedy. Brown, jasmine and black rice which is very nutty tasting and loaded with antioxidants are the most flavourful to me. We love it breakfast but it can be eaten at any time, hence the restaurant, Congee Queen.
Typically, I use left over rice from dinner and add extra water/stock the night before, bring to a boil and simmer with the ginger which gives it a good head start, but cooking in the morning is fine too, just takes longer. The rice will continue to absorb liquid and becomes creamier the longer it is cooked.
Eaten plain as a side dish or made into a meal with the addition of leafy Asian greens, boiled egg/tofu/ fish/chicken, ginger, and added condiments of sesame, tamari and kimchee* on the side. It can be elaborate or plain and simple and is loaded with fiber, nutrients, antioxidants and protein.
You can up the healing benefits by adding astragalus root which is used to stimulate the immune system and Codonopsis, helpful for cancer treatment. Available in Asian markets and inexpensive.
2- 3 cups cooked brown rice – this will yield at least 5 cups of cooked porridge
4- 6 dried shiitake mushrooms- broken into small pieces.
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
½ cup or so Fresh Asian greens- baby bok choy, Napa, Yu Choy, Snow pea leaves, chopped
Tamari and sesame oil
1-4 Boiled eggs chopped (generally one per person)
Crumbled tofu, cooked white fish/chicken/shrimp
In a small pot, place the mushrooms and cover with about a cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and strain, reserving cooking water. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess liquid and slice thinly. Do not use the stem.
In a large size pot over medium low heat combine rice, shiitakes, fresh ginger, reserved cooking water and additional water to cover. Simmer until rice is creamy, stirring frequently about 15 minutes. You may need to add more water. Throw in the greens and cook for another minute or two.
Divide into bowls, top with a sprinkle of sesame oil and tamari to taste and sprinkle with chopped boiled egg/tofu, fish etc. if desired.
*fermented kimchee is often served alongside brown rice to aid in digestion and help maintain intestinal flo