A staple for breakfast and lunch in many Asian countries, congee is rice and water (or broth) cooked down into a thick porridge. Everyone does it slightly differently. It can be cooked using different grains of rice, different kinds and amounts of liquid, and different cooking times. Every choice can affect the final flavor and consistency. After much trial and error, I've arrived at the ideal recipe for a congee that's silky and comforting instead of sludgy or overly heavy.
Why this Recipe Works:
- The right water to rice ratio is the key to cooking a perfect pot of congee. My go-to congee uses a ratio of twelve parts water to one part short grain rice.
Note: If you don't want to use pork, substitute it with ground chicken or even turkey.
- Yield:Serves 4 to 6
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:1 hour and 30 minutes
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 small clove)
- 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil
- 2 scallions, chopped (optional)
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 cup short grain rice, washed and drained
- About 1 cup corn kernels cut from 1 large ear of corn
In a bowl, combine pork, ginger, garlic, Shaoxing wine, 1/4 teaspoon salt, sugar, soy sauce, cornstarch, and oil. Mix well and set aside in the refrigerator.
In a large pot, add water and the washed rice. Cover the pot with a lid and bring it to a boil. When the water starts boiling, turn down the flame to a simmer and cover the pot. 15 minutes later, stir the rice making sure it’s not sticking to the bottom. Cover the pot again and stir the rice one more time 15 minutes after the first stir. Cover the pot one last time and simmer for 30 minutes. When the congee is done, it should look creamy and silky.
Add the ground pork to the congee, breaking down the meat, and simmer with the lid off until the ground pork is cooked, 5 to 10 minutes.
Turn off the flame, add the corn, taste and season the congee with salt. Serve immediately with chopped scallions on top (optional).