Hey everyone, I just wanted to start out our blog posts with a simple recipe anyone can make without buying any special ingredients or utensils. Its uses maybe endless for many people and many illnesses. Whether sweet or savory, congee is a delicious and healthy alternative to the normal meals we eat (or don't eat).
Congee can be translated simply as porridge, typically made with rice, in a fashion similar to making oatmeal. The only difference is that congee uses more liquid making it soupier and even easier to digest. Now I know what you're thinking, this is going to pretty exciting. Rather, imagine a thick, creamy chicken broth-based rice stew with vegetables and a touch of toasted sesame oil as one mouthwatering example.
The beauty is in congee's flexibility, being made with any grain (rice, millet, amaranth, quinoa, barley, oatmeal, etc), any liquid (water, stock, milk, etc), and add any flavors you would like (meat, vegetables, sweet, savory, etc). Let your imagination free to explore the possibilities.
BASIC CONGEE RECIPE (1 serving)
1/2 Cup rice
4 Cups clean water
Pinch of salt
Basic Congee Cooking Directions
Place rice into a small, tight-lidded stainless steel, glass, or ceramic cooking pot with the water and pinch of salt. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Add any other ingredients that need to be cooked at this point. Cook until has the congee has the consistency of porridge (slightly soupy but thick.) Note, you may need to add more liquid as it cooks to become a porridge and as the cooking gets close to completion, stir it occasionally. Once finished, add light flavors like salt, butter, honey, oil, etc. and enjoy.
This recipe is just the basics and should be seasoned according to your own taste, but remember this is an exercise in eating a light, fairly bland diet. Excess salt, fat, and sugar may be detrimental to some pathological conditions (and may even cause some to appear.)
To make this delicious Chicken Soup Congee, I cooked one cup of long grain white rice with four cups filtered water as described in the basic recipe. After the water was almost all absorbed I added one quart of homemade chicken soup and simmered the whole pot, with the lid on, until it was creamy and thick. Added chopped scallions, toasted sesame oil, a touch of soy sauce, and dab of honey before serving.
Uses at home
Congee is especially important when you are catching a cold, in the midst of the flu or recovering from an illness. Click for a printable version of this recipe, other helpful congee suggestions and a short list of simple grocery items that can also found in the Chinese Materia Medica. You can find these ingredients find in most local grocery stores. Try your own recipes at home but it is best advised to consult your Chinese medicine practitioner on what ingredients you may need for a particular condition.
Steven received his Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree from Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts in Asheville, North Carolina. There he was taught the Five Channel systems, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and Five Elements schools of acupuncture. His training also included instruction in Chinese herbs, formulas, patents, preparation, and the use of essential oils.