Congee is a simple rice soup or porridge that has been eaten all over Asia for centuries. The two essential ingredients are rice and water but many different meats, vegetables, sauces and spices can be added to it. Congee is a cheap dish and quite filling considering and it is eaten as comfort food for the unwell, the very young and the very old. It is usually eaten for breakfast, but also lunch or dinner. It is so common that even McDonald’s sells congee in many Asian countries.
I’ve eaten congee from when I was a tiny baby and I’ve eaten rice soup and porridge in many Asian countries in my travels. I always find it very comforting, especially for a traveller’s tummy.
When I first signed onto the Live Below The Line challenge, I thought I wouldn’t be eating meat. But when I saw chicken frames at $1.99 per kilogram at my local Chinese supermarket, I knew I had to use it. So at the start of this week, I cooked up one kilogram of chicken bones with a carrot, half an onion and 3 litres of water to make a simple chicken stock.
This is one of the recipes that makes use of the stock.
I’ve written this recipe for one chicken frame and half a cup of rice, but you can easily make more by multiplying the quantities.
Serves 2 or a very hungry 1
- 1/2 cup of rice
- 250 grams (half a pound) cooked chicken bones or one chicken frame
- 1 cup of unsalted chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon oil
- Fresh ginger
- Optional: Spring onion or coriander
- In a pot, bring water to a boil, add rice and stock, turn the heat down and cover loosely with a lid, allowing for a little steam to escape. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to make sure grains do not stick to the bottom of the pot. Porridge should be thick and creamy. If it gets too thick, add half a cup of water.
- Add cooked chicken bones, soy sauce, salt. Once chicken is warmed through transfer to bowl/s.
- Peel garlic and slice thinly, fry in 1 teaspoon of oil until golden.
- Garnish with julienned ginger, fried garlic and optional herbs.
Read about my other posts on congee here.