Chicken Congee – Dani Valent

Congee is a simple, comforting Chinese rice porridge. It’s a very popular light meal in many parts of Asia, where it’s often served for breakfast or supper, with any number of additions, including tendon, tripe and pizzle. My version is offal free – don’t worry if you’re averse to spooky bits!

I’ve eaten congee over the years but I got back onto a congee jag after cooking with chef Victor Liong, owner and head chef of Lee Ho Fook – among the the best places in Melbourne for contemporary Chinese food!

Victor cooked me congee with a Corn Custard folded through it. He made the custard in the Thermomix (it’s genius – the recipe and video is here) but I was shocked when he admitted he’d never made congee in his Thermomix! I set out to rectify this at once.

My simple chicken congee recipe is below.

Thermomix recipe by Dani Valent

Serves: 4-6 as an anytime breakfast
Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 140 grams jasmine rice
  • 30 grams ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1100 grams water
  • 1 chicken Maryland, skinless
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil, plus extra to garnish
  • 4 spring onions, white and light green part, finely sliced
  • light soy sauce, to garnish

Method:

1. Place rice in steamer basket and rinse until water runs clear

2. Place ginger in mixing bowl and chop 2 sec/speed 6. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula.

3. Place water, rice and chicken into mixing bowl. Cook 45 min/100ºC/speed 0.5 (speed 1 in TM31). When mixture comes up to temperature, replace cap with steamer basket.

4. Remove chicken and allow to cool for a few minutes. Continue cooking rice mixture 5 min/100ºC/speed 1.

5. Strip meat from bones, roughly chop and return to mixing bowl. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil and cook 2 min/100ºC/speed 1.

Pour into serving bowls. If making with corn custard, add now and stir through. Garnish with spring onions and sesame oil and soy sauce to taste.

Tips:

  • omit meat for a vegetarian and vegan option (congee is great with mushrooms and tofu)
  • replace chicken with pork

Victor Liong’s mother would make him congee when he was unwell and he now thinks of it as “a hug from the inside”. What is your go-to comfort dish for nourishing the body and soul? I’d love to hear from you, let me know in the comments below!

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