Makes: 3 servings
Congee is a classic Chinese breakfast and many other countries have their own version of this warm and soothing dish. It is essentially a rice porridge made by boiling rice with more water than needed to make rice until it breaks down into a pudding consistency. I used brown rice in this recipe but most others use white rice. White rice breaks down easier and makes a smoother pudding but I enjoy the fiber in brown rice. Use whichever works best for you.
Also, this recipe is boiled in water but it is also delicious in a homemade veggie or bone broth. I also have added reishi or chaga mushroom to the simmering water and then removed before I served for the added immune and nervous system benefits of those medicinal mushrooms. It’s fun to play with additions and flavors for variety.
The turmeric, garlic, and ginger give this its anti-inflammatory properties. maitake and shitake mushrooms are wonderful for immune health. Many find this soothing and healing for mind and body when sick with a cold and flu. It’s the perfect warm porridge for getting well soon.
***** PLAN AHEAD. This simmers for an HOUR. It is not a difficult recipe but there is a simmering time commitment.
½ cup brown rice
5 cups water
2 tsp. coconut oil
½ medium onion sliced thin and chopped
½-1 cup shitake or maitake mushrooms
1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup of spinach leaves chopped
1 tsp. ground turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt (or add more miso)
2 TBSP white miso (add more to taste)
topping: 1-2 scallions sliced thin
Rinse rice in a strainer and discard water.
Add rinsed rice to a large pot with 5 cups of water. Bring water and rice to a boil. Lower the heat to medium low, cover (leaving the lid slightly open to allow steam to escape and simmer for one hour or until it has a thick creamy texture of porridge.
In a medium pan: add oil, onion, mushrooms, ginger, garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes then add the spinach and saute another minute or so until it is wilted. Set aside.
Add a bit of the warm rice water to a small bowl and add the miso and mix until dissolved in the water. When the rice mixure is finished simmering, add the miso water to the rice pot and stir it in. Add the salt and the sautéed veggies to the rice and mix it all together. Taste and make adjustments for salt levels, adding sea salt or more miso as needed. Ladle into a bowl, add the chopped scallions and serve hot.
****I make this ahead of time and reheat. If it is really thick, I add a bit of water to thin it out to a consistency I enjoy. You can adjust how you like your porridge, thicker or thinner. By the picture you can see, I like mine a bit on the thin side almost like a soup so I cooked it less time but most people eat this thicker like a porridge.
***Other thoughts: If you want to spice it up, add a hint of cayenne, hot sauce or Sriracha. Add any other spices or herbs that you enjoy. Often I add a bit of nori (seaweed) crumbles on top for it’s addition of calcium and other important nutrients. The addition of tofu, tempeh, chicken or an egg on top can make this meal even more satisfying.
As I say with all my recipes, customize it to make it work for you.