Yes, it is in a watermelon ceramic bowl because I’m cool like that.
If there is anything that would make me nostalgic of days at my Grandma’s with good food and adventures, it would have to be a nice warm bowl of congee. I started to cook it last night and finally had the chance to eat it about 18 hours later when I finally came home, but it was definitely ready before then
So I figure not too many people know what congee is, especially because the name has no relation to the meaning. It is essentially a rice porridge that Asians typically have for breakfast and it comes in many forms in regards to what you put in it.
My personal favorite is the pork and thousand-year-old (let’s just call it ancient) duck egg congee. The coolest part is that the duck eggs are black because they are preserved for a while to the point where the reactions taking place result in a translucent black outer and greenish/black yolk (trust me, it tastes SO much better than it sounds haha)
Now the congee shown is just plain white congee with furikake (japanese rice topping with bonito flakes, nori, sesame seeds, etc) and an ancient duck egg. I happen to have a handy carton of those crazy duck eggs because I enjoy them and my congee so very much, especially because it’s so easy to make!
Here’s how to make this particular congee:
-ancient duck egg(s)
The key to this recipe is the amount of rice to water proportions you use will change the viscosity of the congee. I personally like mine a little thicker but I know a ton of others who would much rather have a thinner congee. So, a half cup of rice to 10 cups of water would be a more mid-range congee. If you are like me and like eyeballing things, then what I do is start off making a thicker one and as it finishes cooking add more water until it is at the thickness I want.
So I first wash the bit of rice I’ll be using and then dump it in the slow cooker while filling the water up to the amount of congee I would want in the end.
Set the slow cooker to “low”, sprinkle a bit of salt in it (you can add more later after tasting it) and forget it until about 6-7 hours later. If you want it done faster, then set it to “high” but monitor it so that it doesn’t overflow!
This is my beautiful baby slow cooker:
**word to the wise: it could be tempting but do not stir the congee until you see the rice is sufficiently broken up (it looks less like individual grains of rice and more like mush) or else you’ll get a weird, not fully mixed in water/mushy rice combo that will never break up further and that’s not fun :(
Once I placed some of the congee into my watermelon bowl, I cut up a duck egg to place inside the bowl:
(Aren’t the floral designs pretty cool? They typically have those designs and they’re never the same so it’s always a surprise peeling the shell off)
Then I sprinkled everything with furikake!
Might I add that furikake is the interesting dried stuff seen with sushi and other japanese dishes involving sushi rice but it is the BEST when you are like me and you can’t really have jasmine rice by itself (or in this case, congee)
Then, voila! Easy yummy meal that is light, satisfying and most importantly comforting:
**if you want to make it even better, scallions and cilantro would add an extra punch but won’t overwhelm it
Now for those who don’t have a slow cooker, no worries!
-Instead of a slow cooker, place the water and rice in a preferably non-stick pot
-Put it on high heat until it initially boils and then turn the heat to low, making sure to stir every 10-15 minutes so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom and it doesn’t explode in ricey/water bubbles while keeping the lid half on the pot (unless you have a lid with a LOT of ventilation).
I have ruined many pots due to not being careful enough in checking the congee…until I got a slow cooker and ended all of my problems :D
If you want to add meat or fish, add it toward the end when the congee itself is almost done cooking and you’re on your way to experimenting with different types!
Until next time,