Congee is the Chinese name for a porridge-like soup made with rice that sort of explodes as it cooks. In China they eat it for breakfast, but with add-your-own toppings, it makes a perfect dinner. (A similar Korean dish is called juk.)
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Large soup pot with lid
Spoon, for stirring
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1⁄4 small onion, peeled and diced
- 1 small carrot, scrubbed and diced
- 1 small celery stalk, diced
- 1 small slice of fresh ginger root, about the size of a nickel, peeled and minced
- 1⁄2 cup raw long-grain rice
- 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1⁄4 teaspoon rice wine vinegar, unseasoned
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves
- 2 scallions, greens and white parts, minced
Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. When it is hot, add the oil, onion, carrot, celery, and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are softened but not browned, about 10 minutes.
Add the rice and 4 cups broth, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil.
Turn the heat down to very low and partially cover. Adjust the heat so that the rice mixture stays at a low simmer, which means that you’ll see it bubbling gently.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice sort of bursts and falls apart, 30-60 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup chicken broth if it’s thicker than you like.
Add the vinegar and stir well.
Serve right away, garnished with the parsley or cilantro leaves and scallions.
Add crushed peanuts,* toasted sesame oil, shredded cooked chicken, corn kernels, fresh chopped spinach, and/or cubed tofu.
* If no one is allergic.