Congee

21 Mar

The last post I published had to do with me getting a cold.  Luckily, I am over that hurdle now, but in the meantime I came up with a great healing breakfast that utilizes a recent fermentation that I posted:  Mak Kimchi.    Almost every day last week, I ate congee for breakfast, mixed with kimchi, some tamari sauce, and a fried duck egg on top.  It looked about like this:

20140321-225815.jpgCongee is a Chinese food that is commonly eaten during illness.  Part of the premise of congee as a healing food is that the rice porridge, cooked for an extended time, is  nourishing and easily digested so that vital chi is not wasted on the effort of digestion, but instead the body’s energy is reserved for the effort of healing.  I believe congee can be found in other Asian cuisines as well, but I was introduced to it at a New York downtown Chinese restaurant, appropriately named Congee Village.   Kimchi is decidedly Korean, so my preparation of congee could perhaps be called Asian fusion, although Doctor Google has told me that actually Koreans have a similar porridge called juk.

My dancer friend Rebecca often comes into rehearsals with a glow in her eye, saying “I made congee last night.”  The choreographer we work for has attested to her amazing congee making skills.  When I  asked her how she makes this awesome congee, she replied.  “It’s very easy, you just add a shitload of ginger.”

So, I followed Rebecca’s advice.  Here is my version of congee:

Adele’s Sick-Week Breakfast Congee:

Rinse 1 cup of rice.  I mixed half white and half brown rices together.  Traditionally, you would use a short grained sushi rice.

Put the rice in a 4 quart slow cooker.  Mix it with 1 tsp sesame oil.

Add 10 cups of water (that’s what I did this time) or chicken stock (more traditional), and a dash of salt.

On top, grate a shitload of ginger.  (whatever that means to you.  Sorry, I didn’t measure.)  I grated about two inches worth of ginger, basically, what I had on hand.

Cook on low in your slow cooker overnight.  I like to start my slow cooker on high for the first hour to heat things up, and after that, I turned it on low and set it for an 8 hour cook time.

To serve, add mak kimchi, tamari, and a fried egg that’s still a little runny on top.  Scallions would be nice too.

Enjoy!

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