As much as I love fall, with the changing leaves and fabulous fashion options, it’s also flu and cold season for many. People at work seem to be dropping like flies, myself included. Times like this call for congee – a soupy savoury Chinese rice porridge (think runny risotto). This is a comfort food that I grew up eating whenever I suffered any sort of ailment. Whether it was a cold, stomach flu, wisdom teeth removal – you name it, congee was the cure-all. In many Asian countries, congee is served for breakfast too.
Here’s an easy way to make congee using a rice cooker – there’s nothing easier than throwing everything into a pot a clicking a button, especially when you’re hurting. Stirring is important here, but overall, this is convenience cooking that will hopefully help you through the rest of the chilly days to come.
I’ve made this version with seafood, but chicken is also a great option. Just slice some chicken thighs thinly and add right at the beginning. Congee is one of those things you can throw just about anything into – meat, mushrooms, peas, shredded lettuce, carrots, preserved eggs, fish balls, you name it. Basically, whatever makes you feel good. Stay warm and well friends.
Rice Cooker Congee (Adapted from Food.com) Serves 4
- 1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked
- 8 cups water or chicken stock
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tablespoon gluten-free oyster sauce (or fish sauce)
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari soy sauce
- 6 ounces sliced fish, such as salmon
- 6 ounces frozen seafood, such as shrimp, scallops, squid
- 3 Tablespoons fresh coriander chopped
- 3 Tablespoons green onions, finely sliced
- White pepper to serve
- Salt and pepper to taste
Special Equipment: Rice cooker
- Rinse rice in rice cooker pot, changing water 4 to 5 times. Add stock, ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, tamari sauce to pot and turn on rice cooker. Leave uncovered and stir occasionally for 45 minutes or until congee is smooth and no longer grainy. Add more water or chicken stock if necessary.
- When congee is done, change setting to ‘keep warm’. Add fish and seafood to rice cooker. Stir and cover for 5 minutes or until seafoods is cooked through. Add salt to taste and stir in cilantro. Garnish with green onions and serve with white pepper and tamari sauce.