I love congee (chinese rice porridge) especially when I am under the weather. My congee recipe is very simple and it doesn’t take hours to cook unlike the traditional recipe. I have cheated a little but the result is perfect every time.
All you need is a big pot and
1 cup of rice (Long grain, short grain, cooked or uncooked)
approx 1 litre water (add more water if you like the consistency to be thinner)
1 tsp olive oil or any vegetable oil
Bring to boil and then lower the heat to simmer, stir occasionally so the rice is not sticking to the bottom. Cook until the grain is soft. Approx 15 mins for cooked rice and about 20-25 mins for uncooked rice.
The cheating part, to have a smooth silky texture, I use a handheld blender to blend the congee. If you dont mind the congee to be grainy then you can just leave this part out but you will need to simmer the congee for longer, approx 45mins – 1 hour.
There are so many ways of eating congee, you can eat it plain with a little salt or you can add chopped spring onions and ginger. Here, I have added spring onions, ginger, steamed samphire, black salt and fish sauce. You can also add cooked meat/fish/chicken. My other favourite version is to add spinach and a few drops of soya sauce to it before blending.
For the noodles (my quick version), you will need
2-3 packs of thin rice noodles ( I used the Yangtse River Longkou brand which you can now get in Tesco) ,
50g pre-packed ready cubed pancetta,
5-10 peeled tiger prawns,
2-3 spring onions,
2 eggs beat with fork,
A hands full of roughly chopped coriander,
1 tsp sesame oil,
2-3 tbsp soya sauce,
A few shake of turmeric and curry powder.
A few sprinkle of chilli flakes or fresh chopped chillies (optional)
N.B You can use Chinese sausage instead of pancetta, dried shrimp instead of tiger prawns. You can also add some thin strips of pork but I didnt have those in my cupboard.
To cook, soak the rice noodles in hot boiling water for a few minutes, drained and rise with cold tap water, put aside.
In a large pan or wok on medium heat, add a tablespoon of oil, add the pancetta and fried until crispy. Add tiger prawns and cook for a few minutes until it is almost cooked.
Add curry powder, turmeric powder, sesame oil, soya sauce, mix well and fried for a min or two.
Now add the noodles, mix in gently using tongs or chopsticks, dont over stir it.
Finally, when the noodles are mixed in, make a little hole/well in the middle of the pan/wok and add the eggs. Leave the eggs to cook until it is slightly harden, then stir it in with the rest of the ingredients.
Turn heat off, add spring onions and coriander to serve.