For many of us, comfort food is something familiar. It’s warming, and reminds us of what our parents or grandparents made to cheer us up. When I think comfort food, I think grilled cheese and tomato soup. Others might thing of chicken noodle soup or apple pie. What about comfort food from other countries, though? Today we’re sharing one such recipe from china: congee.
Congee, also known as rice porridge, is a meal that’s often served when someone is sick, very similar to how we use chicken noodle soup here in America. Much like the many personal variations on chicken noodle soup, there are personal variations on congee such as what rice to use, or what liquids to use in making it. This simple congee is also great with plenty of garnishes like scallions garlic, even shredded chicken. Keep reading below for this delicious recipe…
(makes 4 servings)
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or medium-dry sherry
- 2 bone-in chicken thighs or 1/2lb chicken bones
- 3, 1/4″ thick slices fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 green onion tied into a knot
- 1/4 yellow onion
- soy sauce, salt, and white pepper to taste
- sesame oil for drizzling
- Garlic, shallots, green onion, sweet potato, and/or other garnishes as desired.
- In a medium pot, combine the rice, water, chicken stock, wine or sherry, chicken thighs or bones, ginger, garlic, green onion, and onion. Bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
- Reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 1 hour (or 1 1/2 to 2 hours if using uncooked rice), stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. If using chicken thighs, remove after 20 minutes, and shred the meat. Set the meat aside and return the bones to the pot. before continuing to cook the remaining 40 minutes.
- Once the rice grains are swollen and the mixture is like a thick oatmeal, the congee is done. Cook longer if it needs to thicken, or add small amounts of water if it’s too thick until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Remove the bones, ginger, green onion and onion. Add soy sauce, salt, and white pepper to taste.
- Ladle into individual bowls, drizzle with sesame oil, top with shredded chicken, and garnish as desired.
Recipe adapted from The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook