Congee is a particularly comforting and nourishing dish, and one that is traditionally eaten for breakfast or employed to soothe the sick.
But it’s more versatile than that, and can accommodate endless topping and flavouring additions. With a few choice leftovers, this simple congee can become a quite spectacular lunch or dinner. The congee itself is just a starting point.
Keep it simple or dress it up as much as you like. Add some prawn crackers or shallow-fried wonton skins for a crunchy textural foil.
4 extra-large eggs
1 long green chilli, finely sliced
1 long red chilli, finely sliced
80 ml soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
150 g cooked chicken or pork, sliced or shredded
100 g baby spinach leaves, blanched and drained
8-cm piece of ginger, julienned
4 spring onions, white and pale green parts, finely sliced on an angle
sriracha chilli sauce or Gochujang Chilli Sauce* to serve
Spiced Chinese Pickles* to serve
Sichuan & Mandarin Salt* to serve
250g sushi rice
2 litres water
1.5 litres chicken stock
1 large piece of dried kombu
2 thick slices of ginger
1 teaspoon salt flakes
1 For the congee, add all the ingredients to a large, heavy-based saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes at a slow simmer, stirring occasionally, until a porridge-like consistency. Remove the kombu once cooked.
2 Carefully lower the eggs into a saucepan of simmering water and cook for 6 minutes. Refresh in cold water, peel and cut in half.
3 Combine the chilli, soy and sesame oil in a small bowl.
4 Divide the congee between serving bowls and top with some chicken or pork, egg, spinach, ginger and spring onion. Serve with the chilli and soy mix, chilli sauce, pickles and Sichuan salt.
Gochujang Chilli Sauce can be home made using the recipe on page 40 of ‘New Kitchen’, Spiced Chinese Pickles can be found in Asian grocers or home made using the recipe on page 46 and to make Sichuan & Mandarin Salt, page 24.
Click the link below for another Karen Martini recipe from ‘New Kitchen’
Recipe from New Kitchen by Karen Martini. Available now, Plum, RRP $44.99