(with much love to Janet and Dan)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 cup rice
- Salt to taste
- 8 cups chicken stock and water (I ran out of chicken stock; didn’t matter)
Heat the oil on medium-high heat in saucepan and stir in the rice and salt, until the rice is coated and translucent. Add stock/water and cook for 20 minutes on a low simmer. Turn off heat. Use an immersion blender in the saucepan, turning it on “high” to blend your rice porridge until it’s pudding-consistency.
Ladle into bowls and add condiments and garnishes. Garnish with any of the following, and hand yourself a big spoon:
- Chinese pickles or any small-diced pickled vegetables you have around.
- Pickled cabbage, not cucumbers, is preferable.
- Nori, or any kind of seasoned seaweed
- Salted peanuts
- Pork threads, also called Pork Fu
- 1000-Year-Old Egg (a preserved duck egg), diced. Yes, this is a must.
- Scallions, diced
- 2 hard-boiled regular eggs, crumbled
- Soy sauce
I would also happily use: chopped-up cooked chicken; shellfish; carnitas; sliced ginger; any kind of veggies, lightly sauteed or raw; greens, raw or cooked; or bean curd skin. Anything that goes with rice is going to taste good.
*Editor’s note: Even though one might not think of congee as a traditional summer dish, Susie’s reasons for why one should consider it any old time were too compelling and I wanted to share it with our readers “off season,” as it were. And, yes, I’m aware that some of our more zealous locavores might take exception to the fact that not all of the ingredients are available locally. But with the possible exception of the preserved duck egg, most of them are and, clearly, creativity is the key ingredient with this recipe.