One of the great things about rice congee would be its health benefit, it is used as a cure for several ailments, this meal is usually consumed when you feel under the weather but this recipe has grown to be a regular breakfast option.
Rice congee is regular comfort food in different Asian countries and its benefits have made it popular outside Asia, it is often referred to as the chicken soup of Asia and it’s identified with different names depending on the part of Asia you are in.
If you’re trying to make a rice congee then you must have heard of its advantages and you’re curious to know how it works and what it tastes like, well who wouldn’t -which is why in this article we would be showing you how to make a delicious bowl, but first let’s look at some great tips you should consider making use of when preparing a rice congee.
Tips to Note When Making a Rice Congee
Rice congee is a simple and rewarding meal to make and with these little helpful tips, you’ll be on your way to making a delicious pot of rice congee.
Use more starchy rice; to get a gel-like and smooth consistency in your congee try using rice that is high in starch such as jasmine long-grain rice and japonica medium-grain rice. They are both perfect for congee and would produce a silky smooth texture but rice like basmati rice wouldn’t be perfect for congee because it lacks the gel-like texture after cooking, if you can’t find the jasmine or japonica rice and the basmati rice is all you have, put it in a blender or food processor for a few minutes so the grains would break up a bit before cooking it.
Try not to overdo it and turn the rice into powder, just blend it for a few minutes to break the grains so it turns to paste quickly.
Select the liquid ratio for cooking; most persons have a particular ratio they work with each time they cook a rice congee but since we use different types of rice and rice cooker the results may vary if we work with the same ratio. Although some common ratios to work with for very thick rice congee is 1:7,
for a thick rice congee use 1:8,
for a medium-thick rice congee use 1:9,
and for medium-thin rice congee use a 1:10 ratio.
If the result looks too thick you could always thin it out by adding some water and if the result looks too thin you could cook it for a few extra minutes so the liquid evaporates.
Don’t over-rinse the rice; if you purchase pre-washed rice then you can skip washing it again and go ahead with your cooking but if yours isn’t pre-washed then wash or rinse it about 2 times before cooking.
If you over-rinse the rice, you’ll end up removing most of the starch on the grains that help with the silky consistency it gets after cooking.
Use the cooking stock for extra flavor; the rice congee recipe normally calls for regular water but you can switch things up by using a flavorful vegetable broth, chicken broth, or beef broth, the flavour difference would be evident in the final meal.
Stir regularly; if you’d be using a stove to cook this recipe, try to stir it regularly so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and end up burning. Stirring it regularly would allow the rice to break easily and turn to paste faster.
Add some garnishing; one of the best things about this recipe is how flexible it is, you could serve the rice congee plain to a sick person or you could add some extra ingredients to make it more flavorful.
Adding some vegetables would not only be healthy and delicious but also beautiful in the recipe, whether fresh or frozen veggies like mixed vegetables, frozen corn, pieces of sweet potato (add them early so they soften quickly), diced carrots, etc.
You could also sprinkle some herbs or spices to add unique flavour notes.
Store and reheat leftovers; extra rice congee could be stored in a refrigerator for about 3-4 days and you cook easily reheat it on the stove or in a microwave, all you have to do is to heat it and thin it out if it has become too thick.
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Cooking time for rice congee
The table below describes the estimated cooking time to note when making a rice congee.
|Cooking method||Cooking time|
|Cooking a congee in a rice cooker||35 minutes|
- 1 cup raw jasmine or japonica rice
- 8 cups of water or chicken stock
- 2 spring onions
- 1½ tablespoon ginger
- 1½ tablespoon gluten-free tamari soy sauce or oyster sauce (optional)
- 1½ tablespoon garlic
- 6 ounces of frozen seafood (such as shrimp, squid, scallops)
- 6 ounces boneless chicken (or any protein of your choice)
- White pepper
- Rinse the rice if it isn’t pre-washed about 2-3 times.
- If you’ll be using scallops, soak them in warm water for about 30 seconds then wash and break them into smaller bits with your hands.
- Rinse and cut the boneless chicken into smaller bits you’d like.
- Peel, wash, and mince the garlic and ginger then chop the spring onions into tiny bits.
- Add 8 cups of water or cooking stock (vegetable or chicken stock), 1½ tablespoon minced ginger, 1½ tablespoon minced garlic, 1½ tablespoon oyster sauce to the rice cooker, close the lid, and turn it on.
- Leave it for about 25 minutes and check back when the time is up, if the consistency is too watery leave it in for about 4 minutes more.
- If after 4 minutes the consistency is still watery leave it in for an additional 3 minutes but if the consistency is creamy and what you like then you can add the salt and white pepper to taste. Stir well and serve.
- Garnish the rice congee with the chopped spring onion or any other ingredient you want.
If you’d still want more ideas on rice congee, then check out this video recipe