Cure-all of the ancients. Need I say more?
Fine, I will. This is what I have when I’ve caught a sore throat, flu, or anything else unpleasant (that still allows me to eat). It makes all stomachs happy and even third parties will attest to its healing properties.
It is also very comforting in winter when the world is cold and cruel outside. (Psychological medicine?)
Basic Chinese Porridge (Congee / “Chook”)
I always struggle to remember my basic Chinese porridge recipe just when I need it – when I’m sick and my brain is fuddled. So, when making it as a healthy person, I thought I’d take the opportunity to write everything down (finally!).
If you’re not sick, serve congee with a couple of sides: for example, sweet soya sauce fried fish, or a stir fried vege. Something with a strong taste can be nice (though not sambal / curry in my view). Today I served with a simple sesame-sugar long bean side.
4 cloves garlic
1.5 cm ginger
2 dessert spoons soya sauce
1.5 rice cups of rice
7.5 rice cups water
1 any type of stock cube – or fresh if you have it 🙂
A handful of peanuts – optional, I don’t usually add this, just tried it out today
Any extras – cubed meat / fish, prawns (peeled), or veg
A dash of white pepper
Yield: about 4 – 6 servings, depending on how much you eat each time.
- Mince ginger and garlic, then fry in a pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the rice (unrinsed), water, stock cube, and peanuts if using. Simmer with the lid on for about 20 minutes until it thickens. If it remains too thin, simmer with the lid off for a while.
- Add soya sauce, stir in.
- Crack in the egg, stir in.
- Add any extras – fish / meat, vege if using. Cover and simmer until fully cooked. Don’t stir! Add a little extra water if it is getting too thick.
- Sprinkle on a little sesame oil and white pepper, garnish and serve. I garnished with fried garlic flakes.
Garnish options, if you have them on hand:
- Spring onion, chopped
- Fried garlic
- Fried onions
- Fried ginger
- Fish / chicken flosses
- Fresh coriander
…the list is endless!
Note: freezes well. Add a little water when you reheat.
As my “extra”, I added a little fish and mussels in a soya sauce-sesame marinade:
Fish and Mussels Soya Sauce-Sesame Marinade (for Chinese Porridge)
Inspired by Smoky Wok.
A handful of mixed fish cubes and mussels
3 tablesp soya sauce
1 tablesp sesame oil
1 teasp balsamic vinegar – I didn’t have Chinese vinegar, which would have been better
1/2 teasp sugar
A pinch of flour
- Mix everything up and leave it to sit while the rice is cooking. Then add during Step 5 (see above).