Congee is China’s answer to chicken noodle soup. There is nothing more comforting than a piping hot bowl of thick congee, and the best part is that the meal takes literally 30 seconds to of prep time: dump water, broth, rice, and ginger slices in the slow cooker. Go to bed, and wake up to warm breakfast.
Congee is endlessly adaptable, a perfect creamy canvas for any and everything you have on hand. Load it with eggs, any bit of protein, fresh herbs and veggies, and it’s a perfectly balanced meal. Any grain will do: leftover rice, quinoa, brown rice, barley, etc. Any combination of water and broth is just fine, too. Start with a 1:6 ratio of rice to liquid and if you’d like it thinner, adjust.
SLOW COOKER CONGEE for two
1/2 cup of uncooked sticky white rice
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of water + more to reach desired consistency
3 slices of ginger, about 1/4″ thick
salt to taste
4 ounces of pork loin
2 spring onions, greens thinly sliced and bulbs reserved
1 small bunch of cilantro
drizzle of sesame oil, soy sauce, or sriracha
In a small slow cooker, combine rice, broth, water, and ginger. Cook on low for six to eight hours or on high for four hours. Then, add water to reach desired consistency (I added a half-cup). Stir in sliced spring onions and salt to flavor.
For the eggs, fill a small saucepan with water and bring to a rolling boil. Adjust to a rapid simmer and gently drop two eggs in. Cook for six minutes. Remove eggs and set aside to cool slightly as you prepare the other toppings. Before serving, peel the eggs and cut in half.
For the fried onions, heat 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a small saucepan. Remove the bulbs from the spring onions. Cut each bulb in half length-wise, then thinly slice. Fry the onions until golden brown, about five minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel to drain.
For the pork, cut the pork into small 1/4″ cubes and marinade in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce for a few minutes (say 3). Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and saute pork until golden brown.
To serve, ladle the congee into two bowls. Top with fried onions, cilantro, pork, eggs, and sliced raw spring onion. Drizzle with sesame oil and soy. Serve.
**NOTE: Again, variations here are endless. 1:6 is a good rice to liquid ratio, but that’s negotiable depending on how thick you want the congee to be. You could make it with just water or just broth or anything in between. Toppings, too are endless. Shredded chicken breast, fish, Chinese sausage, pickled veggies, spinach, corn, mushrooms, bok choy, chopped peanuts, and on and on and on.