Homemade Congee


Congee is a warming, hearty, stick-to-your ribs kind of soup which makes it great for the late fall and winter months. There are many variations on this traditional Chinese soup, but in my version I use pork, wood ear mushrooms, cabbage and I garnish it with almonds, not peanuts! I love the bite that the wood-ear mushrooms give this soup (they kind of have the texture of seaweed) and of course the deep umami flavour. If you don’t have wood-ear mushrooms, feel free to substitute them with cremini mushrooms, although many Asian grocers will carry them in a dehydrated form.


Servings: 6-8

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time:  15 minutes   |   Cook Time: 60 minutes   |   Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Jasmine rice
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 pork loin chops, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 cup wood-ear mushrooms, re-hydrated
  • 2 cups Napa cabbage, chopped
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Sesame oil, for garnish
  • Sliced almonds, for garnish

Directions:

Place the jasmine rice, water and chicken stock in a large stock pot, cover, and bring the contents to a boil. Once the rice has boiled, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, completely covered for 30 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, marinate the pork loin chops. Slice the pork into one centimeter think strips and place in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and soy sauce and give it a mix to fully coat. Set aside.

Chop the wood-ear mushrooms and Napa cabbage into this strips, roughly the size of the pork slices. Slice the ginger and scallions thinly and set aside.

After 30 minutes have elapsed, place the pork slices in the pot of rice along with the chopped mushrooms and ginger. Give it a stir to mix, cover an let simmer for 15 minutes. After another 15 minutes have elapsed, add the cabbage, stir and cover again for 15 minutes.

After the whole hour of cooking, the rice should be swollen and almost breaking apart in the broth. The broth shouldn’t be runny, rather it should be thick, like oatmeal. If there is any excess liquid, simply boil the congee uncovered for a few more minutes until the water has evaporated. Give the congee a taste and add any extra salt as necessary.

Simply spoon the congee into bowls and garnish with the chopped scallions, cilantro leaves, almonds, and lots of sesame oil. Enjoy!

Clearly, I love my sesame oil ❤

Nice, thick and hearty congee 🙂