Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Codfish Congee

Congee, traditional Asian rice porridge "soup", is perfect for a lazy Sunday morning or a light lunch. It's also soothing when I'm feeling under the weather because it's neutral and settles the stomach.

 This was my first time making congee all by myself-- the key I've found is to use short grain rice and be attentive to the consistency-- you want it thick (like porridge), but you can always add more broth to your liking. I choose to use cod fish-- chicken is common, and I'm curious to try salmon in my congee. It all depends on what kind of flavor you're craving. There are also numerous garnishes to try with your congee besides the traditional green onions-- try it with bamboo shoots, sliced chinese doughnuts, chili radishes, etc.

Codfish Congee:
(serves 4)

1 cup short grain white rice (I used sushi rice)
5 cups water
2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
1/4 cup ginger, peeled and julienned
1/4 cup green onions, thin slices
2 small cod fillets, cut into 1 inch pieces
salt to taste
dash sesame oil
soy sauce & sambal to taste

Wash the rice under cold water. Place the rice and 5 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, occasionally stirring the rice so it isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan. Stir in more water (or broth) as necessary if the congee starts to get too thick, about a cup at a time. Turn the heat to high, bring it to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Add ginger and salt to taste. Continue to simmer until the rice is practically disintegrating and very soft (about 2 hours). When the congee is the almost done, add more broth to achieve a soupy consistency or continue to simmer to desired thickness. Add cod and cook until fish is fully cooked (be careful not to overcook!!) Top with green onions, soy sauce, a dash of sesame oil and sambal if you like your congee spicy. Enjoy!

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