What is a traditional Chinese Breakfast? Many Chinese begin their day with a warm bowl of Congee, a watery rice gruel that bears a marked resemblance to porridge. Congee can be sweet or savory; seasoned with everything from chicken to mushrooms. Often, the meat is marinated before being added to the rice.
The word Congee (also known as Jook in Canton) comes from the Indian “Kanji”, which refers to the water in which the rice has been boiled. In parts of India today the word Congee still refers both to the boiled water and the rice dish itself. In Chinese Food, Kenneth Lo notes that Congee serves two purposes – besides warming the body, it also takes the place of a beverage.
The weather is cooler and I thought that it might be nice to share a recipe to boost immunity.This is ideal for those suffering from exhaustion, post partum mothers or those recovering from an illness.
Congee is traditionally made by cooking 1 cup of rice with 5-6 cups of water. The pot is set on very low heat and cooked for 5-6 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes to prevent it from sticking.
1 medium (3-5 lbs) free range chicken, (skin removed
1 cup of mixed grains (brown and wild rice)
6-8 Shitake Mushrooms, chopped
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
Optional: Organic Milk- preferably Goat’s Milk
In a large Soup Pot, saute 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil and Onions until they turn translucent or sweat,
Put the Chicken and Rice mix into the pot and cover with water.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer 1-2 hours or until chicken is falling off the bones.
Remove the pan from the heat, remove and discard the chicken carcass and bones. Shred the Chicken and return it to the Congee.
In a separate pan, saute the Shitake Mushrooms with a tablespoon of Olive Oil ~Add to the Congee.
Simmer the Congee for another 30 minutes
Add Sea Salt to taste – or add non MSG Boullion instead.
Serve and add Scallions to individual servings
** To make a heartier soup ~ add 1/2 cup of Organic Milk or Goat’s Milk during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
* This recipe is from a former classmate of mine ~ Laura Kaufman – however I have modified it slightly according to my beliefs.