粥／congee/ juk/ zhou is amazing soul food that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. it’s a bit like chicken noodle soup for asia: whenever you’re feeling sick or sad it gives your body and soul a pick me up. it’s also incredibly easy to make and it’s a great way to use up leftover rice and/or bones! we like to buy the roasted ducks hanging in the windows of chinese markets and restaurants and throw all the leftover bones into a pot with leftover rice to make it. try to reserve some of the duck meat to toss in the pot at the very end before serving.
congee is also infinitely customizable. a quick list of sometimes inauthentic but completely delicious additions include but are not limited to:
chili oil (my fav)
green onions (classic)
whatever meat/ fish/ tofu is in your fridge
boiled egg (preferably with the yolk just setting but still gooey)
furikake (japanese rice seasoning)
Serves 4, with leftovers
1/2 cup white rice
5 cups water or stock of choice
1/2 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1-inch piece ginger, cut into slices
S+P to taste
In a stock pot, combine rice, water, sesame oil, rice vinegar and ginger. If you have leftover bones from last night's dinner throw them in! Chicken, duck, pork chop, bones will all suffice.
Bring the ingredients to a boil. Lower to a gentle simmer. Throw in a ceramic soup spoon, if you have one, as this will keep the congee from sticking to the bottom of the pot (thanks mama Lo!)
Cook congee for an hour, or until the rice has broken down, adding water as needed. Stir periodically. Personally, we like our congee slightly thinner than usual, but you are looking for a thick, soupy consistency.
Garnish with toppings of choice.
Note: You can use leftover rice and cut the cook time in half.