Introduction: Homemade Traditional Cantonese Congee ( Asian Delight)
In my neck of the woods, there's a chain restaurant called "Honkee Porridge Restaurant" I've always love to eat traditional congee there (its the best).But sadly,during the lockdown of my country,I dont get to eat the delicious meal for months .As a 'well known' foodie, I've been craving for it so badly that I have decided to make it myself.
Making a good Cantonese rice porridge (also called rice congee) is easy to make and it require the right technique.
This instructable outlines how to prepare the silkiest and most comforting Cantonese style porridge. This rice porridge is the breakfast and lunch staple in many Asian countries and serves in Dim Sum restaurants (they call it as jook in Cantonese) as one of the delicacies. Congee is usually made by boiling rice in a lot of water.Other than that, it is suitable for people for all ages to eat and it is very nutritious.
There are a few tips and tricks I would like to share to make a best congee recipe:
The congee that is finished cooking should be silky smooth and creamy.When boiling the rice, the rice grains are adequately hydrated, burst open like popcorns (that only counts that your rice are cooked).
There are a few side dishes to make your congee more appetizing and delicious:
- Salted Egg
- Thousand year old egg
- Chopped spring onions
- Fried garlic
- Pickled ginger
- Meat floss
- Chinese celery (My recomendations)
- Chinese celery
- salted egg
- braised peanut
- seasoning (peper,salt,ajinomoto,soy sauce,sugar,vinegar,chicken powder)
- ground meat
- fresh crunchy Youtiao
Step 1: Step 1 : Clean the Rice
Clean the rice by rinsing it twice with plenty of water.Just the tap water will work.The water will turn cloudy and this means the rice is cleaned. Remember,do not rinse the rice too many times until the water runs clear. Try to retain as much starch as possible as it will help to thicken the rice porridge.One cup of rice is enough for a 4 people congee.Please BE CAREFUL when rinsing the water (or it will spill out and down go it to the the sink...)
Step 2: Step 2 : Soak the Rice
For the traditional way,we will soak the rice with water for one to three hours.It takes a longer time, but the outcome is wonderful. The rice grains will eventually open up like the popcorn and looks very appealing.The rice will become softer after soaking. It helps to shorten the time required to simmer the rice until it disintegrates to form a silky and creamy texture.Usually,I would take one and a half hour to do that.
Here's a formula my grandmother told me to make the best congee:
One cup of rice : Ten cup of water (ratio to cook the conge)
Step 3: Step 3: Cook the Rice Porridge
To cook the porridge,I will add ten cup of water for one cup of rice (based on how many cup of rice you've putted) Remember to look back step 2 for the ratio. This measurement is only a guideline as there is no harm if you add more water. It also depends on how long you simmer the rice porridge (the longer you simmer, the creamier the porridge will be), and add the rice into the boiling liquid. Keep stirring to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Let it boil this way for about ten minutes. The rice will expand and start to turn soft .After that, reduce to the lowest heat possible. Keep the water at a consistent slow boil. That is when you see small bubbles popping up here and there, but the rice grains are not moving much.
Step 4: Step 4: Chop the Chinese Celery
For me, chinese celery are the essential add ons for a good congee because it gives a fresh,sweet and juicy flavour that is suprisingly refreshing to eat. First, wash the celery with water (just one time is enough). Then, chop the celery according to the thickness you like. For me,I prefer to chop it about 1cm thick.
Step 5: Step 2 : Simple Step on Cleaning Salted Duck Egg.
Salted duck eggs are normally boiled or steamed before being peeled and eaten as a condiment to congee or cooked with other foods as a flavoring. The texture is gelatin like egg white and firm and has a perfect round yolk. The egg white has a fragrant and salty taste. The orange red yolk is rich, fatty, and less salty.
Usually, the slated duck egg will be covered by charcoal.Remove (rub) charcoal using your hand. If you dislike getting your hand dirty, you can place the egg in a plastic bag. Then rub charcoal with your hand outside the plastic bag.
Remember, don’t discard the charcoal and egg shells. They’re good for the plants. I usually break the egg shells into small pieces and together with the charcoal, I will disperse it around my plants. After that, rinse the egg under running water.Then,put the egg into the boiling congee pot to boil it.(Just for a while)
Step 6: Step 3: Cook the Salted Egg
Afer that, scoop the egg out of the pot.Then,use a knife (preferably Chinese machete knife) to chop the egg into half (be careful the shell of the egg might be really hard!).Use a spoon to scoop the egg out of the shell then smash it into little pieces ( I did this so that it might be easier to eat together with the congee, the salted egg will be really salty if you eat the whole one!)
Step 7: Step 7 : Chopping the Carrot
First,wash the carrot with clean water. Then,use a peeling knife to peel the carrot skin off. Chop the carrot into half and then chop it into long narrow pieces. Carrots are crunchy, tasty, and highly nutritious and make the congee more appetizing.Then,add the chopped carrots into the congee pot.
Step 8: Step 8 : Braised Peanuts
Usually,braised peanuts are appetizers,snacks or side dishes given at chinese restaurants, feast and weddings.It have a sweet and savoury taste that melts in your mouth when eaten. It is an oriental food we chinese usually eat. I will add a can of braised peanuts to the congee to make it sweet and flavourfull.First,use a can opener to open the can.Then,put the braised peanuts into the congee pot.
Step 9: Step 9 : Add Seasoning to the Ground Meat
I will add seasoning to the ground meat to remove the meaty,smelly smell and to make it more delicious and scrumptious. Before adding the seasoning, I will use a Chinese machete knife to chop the meat to make it softer.
Seasoning I have added: Cooking caramel, soy sauce, white pepper, sea salt.
Step 10: Step 10: Add Tapioca Flour to the Meat
Add some tapioca flour to the meat and mix it together evenly. This gives a bouncy and soft taste to your meat and preventing it from seperate during cooking.
Step 11: Step 11 : Put the Meat Into the Congee Pot
Now, it is the time to put the meat into the boiled congee pot. Use a spoon or hand and pinch or mould a small amount of meat and put it into the pot. (It should form a circle like shape) Repeat the process until you finish putting all the meat into the pot. Remember to prevent putting it together, try to put it seperately so it wont stick.
Step 12: Step 12: Chop the Youtiao (fried Dough Food)
I will put chopped Youtiao to my congee as it gives the congee a crispy,crunchy and a full taste.Conventionally, youtiao are lightly salted and made so they can be torn lengthwise in two. Youtiao may be known elsewhere as Chinese cruller.
Normally, I will tear the Youtiao into half then chop it into small pieces.Remember not to put the Youtiao into the congee, it is prefer dipping the congee to be eaten or eating it itself.
Step 13: Step 13 : Garnish and Serve Your Congee
After your congee is done cooked, pour it into small bowls.Then, spread the chopped chinese celery onto the congee. Add some ground white pepper, drizzle some light soy sauce plus a few drops of sesame oil on the porridge and is ready to be served as an endless bow of comfort to warm your heart.Serve the chopped Youtiao beside the congee and lastly,enjoy your meal! Remember, congee is the best when eating it hot!
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2 years ago
One of my all time favourite comfort foods. Needs some stir fried kailan with garlic and oyster sauce and maybe some tea smoked duck as side dishes.
Man I miss eating out at the restaurants along Queen and Spadina . Best food anywhere in Toronto.
I haven't had dim sum for months.
Reply 2 years ago
Wow yeah! I miss dim sum too!
2 years ago
That looks so warm and filling :)
Reply 2 years ago
Thank you :)