Comfort Food: Congee

Duck_CongeeWe like easy recipes for tasty meals, and one-pot meals are a bonus. One such meal is congee, a savory rice porridge (but not like oatmeal) that’s true comfort food.

Congee (Jook) is an Asian dish, and may be eaten as breakfast. While we could totally see having this hot porridge for breakfast, we usually have it for lunch or dinner.  It’s satisfying but not too heavy. You can tweak it however you choose, and it’s pretty forgiving. The basics*: rice and water.  You cook the rice in water until it reaches a smooth consistency, add a protein (like duck, chicken, rabbit, beef, etc.), minced ginger, garlic, soy (we use Bragg’s liquid aminos) and fish sauce (Nước Mắm Chấm). If you don’t have fish sauce, you can use oyster sauce, instead, but we prefer the fish sauce. You let it simmer, then serve up in bowls with optional toppings of chopped scallions or cilantro, black pepper to taste, and a dash of sesame oil.

While we cook ours in an enameled cast iron dutch oven, some rice makers have a congee setting – ours has a “porridge” setting – so you toss in the ingredients, set it to cook, and let it do its thing.

Congee is the perfect foil for the rich flavor of duck, and we’ve been thoroughly enjoying duck in ours. Prior to starting the congee, we slow cooked a duck (the one in the previous post) along with the giblets, ultimately ending up with a large container of dark meat. When we’re ready to make congee, we chop up some of the duck/giblets and add it to the rice porridge. The result is a comforting, delicately perfumed soup just right for these chilly days!

*if you want specific recipe measurements, shoot us a message and we’ll be happy to provide them