Congee simply means rice porridge. The origins of the word congee could be traced back to ‘kanji’ in Tamil, which also means rice porridge. It is served in several parts of Asia and the monikers include Jook, Lugaw, Burbur and so on. It is typically served for breakfast accompanied by condiments such as fried shallots, garlic, soy sauce, etc.
This humble rice porridge is one of the easiest and tastiest comfort foods there is. With the carbs from the rice and nutrition from the vegetables, this is a great breakfast or lunchtime meal.
I was craving something warm and tasty to beat the cold weather. I had some leftover rice and some veggies that I could make into a congee. The result was simply amazing. It ticks a lot of boxes for me in terms of wholesomeness, nutrition, and taste.
Play around with the ingredients, substitute/add vegetables, meat or seafood to suit your taste; you will have a superb meal ready to serve. This low-fat and healthy porridge will sure warm your heart and keep the tummy happy.
Left over rice – 1 cup
Stock/water – 4 cups
Mushrooms – ¼ cup, cleaned and sliced
Spring onion/scallions/green onions – 2 stalks, cleaned, trimmed and chopped
Ginger – ½ inch piece, peeled and finely chopped
Garlic – 5 cloves, finely chopped
Black pepper – to taste
Salt – To taste
Oil - 1 tblspns.
Heat oil in a saucepan. To it, add the finely chopped garlic and ginger. Sauté them till fragrant.
Toss in the onions. Sweat the onions out a bit. Do not overcook them.
Finally, add the mushrooms and sauté for another 4 to 5 minutes.
At this stage, season with pepper.
Pour the stock and bring it to boil. This will ensure the stock absorbs the flavours of the sautéd vegetables.
Add the cooked rice and stir it with the stock.
At this stage, add more water if you like your congee dilute.
Simmer the congee for about 15 minutes or till it thickens.
Once done, remove from the flame.
Scoop out the congee and pour into serving bowls. Serve warm.
Note: I reserved some chopped garlic, and shallow fried them to serve on top.
- You could add other vegetables of your choice.
- Add or omit ingredients based on your preference.
- I used leftover basmati rice. Use jasmine, sticky or any other rice varieties for this congee.
- If you are using stock, watch the amount of salt you add to the congee.
- I used stock for extra flavouring. You could simply use water, as it would absorb the flavours of the sautéed vegetables.
- You could add fresh herbs for seasoning.
- Additional seasoning options include fried tofu, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce.
- I used leftover rice, you could use raw rice and allow it to boil until it’s cooked and thickens the congee.