Cantonese Homemade Congee (aka Jook 粥)

Chicken Congee pic3

After eating more than my share of holiday food this past few weeks, I am ready for some good old Chinese comfort food. A bowl of steamy, creamy, thick and flavorful congee is just what I need. For those of you who never had congee before, congee is just very thin rice soup cooked down to a soft, creamy texture. Some people like to eat it plain, and some people like to add meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables or other interesting ingredients to their congee. The important thing is it should be served piping hot.

There are many variations of congee when it comes to texture and ingredients, it depends on the people who make the congee. Some people like their congee thin and creamy, others like their congee thick and with more soft rice. Japanese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Chinese and other Asian countries all have their own styles and may call it rice porridge instead of congee. Cantonese congee is also called jook 粥, made with long grain rice and water.

Congee is very easy to digest therefore is well-liked by many people, from the very old to the very young. It is a popular, healthy breakfast staple in the morning. People who are down with a bad cold or fever especially love eating congee, it is comforting.

Congee may not sound particularly exciting if you never had it before. But just like a bowl of simple oatmeal, it can be as interesting as you want it to be. Plain or fancy, you decide.

Contrary to what some people may believe, I cook my congee on medium high heat and get it done as quick as possible to prevent the rice from absorbing too much water. When rice cooked on low heat too long, they will get heavy, produce too much gluten and will sink to the bottom of the pot. Also, knowing the right water-to-rice ratio is important to cooking a perfect pot of congee. I like congee that is smooth, soft, creamy but still with some grains visible, a fairly-thick consistency without the paste-like texture and taste.

Congee pic2

Chicken Congee pic10
Plain Congee – 白粥 is cooked with rice and water. Season with a small pinch of salt.

 

Cantonese Homemade Congee (aka Jook 粥) (雞粥)

Put drained rice in a bowl, add 1 cup low sodium chicken broth, soak for 30 minutes.

Congee pic1

In a medium pot, fill in 5 cups water and 2 cups low sodium chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in rice with broth into the boiling water, cook until boiling again. Don’t cover the pot. Spoon any foams off the top. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook, no cover. Stir as needed.

Season chicken with salt and black pepper, mix with ginger strips. Add chicken and ginger to the pot after congee cooking for 20 to 30 minutes. Bring to a boil again, spoon foams off the top. Continue to cook, stirring frequently until congee reaches your desired consistency, about another 30 minutes. Lower the heat if necessary. Don’t cover the pot.

Once ready, taste it first, add salt if needed. Add green onions and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. There you have it, my best and favorite chicken congee 雞粥. It is soft, creamy, tasty and still with some grains visible, a fairly-thick consistency without the paste-like texture, everything I need in Chinese comfort food.

Chicken Congee pic1

 

Print recipe:

Cantonese Homemade Congee (aka Jook 粥)

  • Servings: 3 to 4 | Recipe by Leslie at Soups Ahoy
  • Print

Chicken Congee pic4 print

Ingredients and Instructions

1 rice cup (6 oz) raw jasmine long grain rice, rinsed, drained
2 chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
5 to 7 slices ginger, cut into small strips
4 green onions, chopped for garnish
3 (8 oz) cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
5 (8 oz) cups water needed for congee

Put drained rice in a bowl, add 1 cup low sodium chicken broth, soak for 30 minutes.

In a medium pot, fill in 5 cups water and 2 cups low sodium chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in rice with broth into the boiling water, cook until boiling again. Don’t cover the pot. Spoon any foams off the top. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook, no cover. Stir as needed.

Season chicken with salt and black pepper, mix with ginger strips. Add chicken and ginger to the pot after congee cooking for 20 to 30 minutes. Bring to a boil again, spoon foams off the top. Continue to cook, stirring frequently until congee reaches your desired consistency, about another 30 minutes. Lower the heat if necessary. Don’t cover the pot.

Once ready, taste it first, add salt if needed. Add green onions, ginger and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Remove from heat and serve hot. There you have it, my best and favorite chicken congee 雞粥. It is soft, creamy, tasty and piping hot, everything I need in Chinese comfort food.


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https://soupsahoy.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/cantonese-homemade-congee-aka-jook-粥/

 

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