Sunday, September 16, 2007

Chinese Beef Congee


1 c. Chinese white rice
6 c. Water
1/2 lb. Lean ground beef
1 Salted duck egg
Salt & pepper to taste
Lettuce, thinly sliced


Sauce:
2 Green onion, chopped
3 tbsp Soya sauce (Kikkoman)
1/2 tsp Sesame oil

Wash the rice several times with water. Drain out as much water as possible. Refridgerate for a few hours to let the water soak into the rice. It is easiest to pre-soak the rice overnight or in the morning, so that the rice will be ready to cook when you come home from work.

In a large pot, boil the water and add the rice. Let it simmer for 30 min on medium heat. The rice should become very soft and fluffy and the liquid is slightly thickened. The consistency of the congee is typically similar to a Western style cream soup, but you can always add or reduce the water to make the congee to your desired consistency. I like my congee with medium consistency (not too watery but not too thick).


While the rice is cooking, lightly marinade the ground beef with a little bit of salt or soya sauce.

Remove the salted duck egg from its plastic wrap and wash the shell with water.


When the rice is cooked, stir in the ground beef. Break up as many chunks as possible.

Crack open the egg and drop it into the congee. Gently stir in the egg white while it cooks. The yoke will remain intact.


Simmer the congee for another 10-15 min, until the ground beef and egg yoke are cooked.

If the congee becomes too thick, stir in more water, bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer.

Place a small handful of fresh lettuce in a bowl and add the congee on top.

Serve immediately with homemade sauce.

Note: You can also cook congee without pre-soaking the rice, but it will take several hours to cook until the rice turns fluffy.


What is congee?

Congee is a traditional chinese meal that we like to eat on all occasions. Countless versions of congee exist, depending on the type of ingredients you use and the style of cooking. Congee can be served as breakfast, lunch, dinner or even midnight snack!!

In the morning, a bland version is prepared with only rice, seasoned with salt. Some people like to add dried scallop and/or dried shrimp. This breakfast congee is usually served with fried bread sticks or fried noodles (ingredients: soya or oyster sauce and mung bean sprouts).

For other meals, meat is often added to give the congee a little more substance. Congee is very good with all types of meat: chicken, beef or pork and the meat can be cut into thin slices or 1-in. cubes. For the grounded versions of the meat, you can stir the meat into the congee as instructed in this recipe, or you can roll the meat into balls and make meatball congee.

If you like seafood, salmon and shrimp both work very well in congees. When the congee is cooked and seasoned with salt, stir in the seafood and serve as soon as the meat is cooked. It is very important not to overcook the seafood.

My favourite type of congee is prepared with lean pork slices and preserved eggs. The preserved eggs looks gross but it's very yummy. :)

Congee is also Chinese counterpart of the "chicken soup for sick people". In this case, you can add chunks of meat to the boiling water along with the rice and let it cook for 30 min. This way, the nutrients from the meat will be boiled into the congee and the congee can be served to the "patient" without the meat. It will a light meal for the "patient" but he/she will still receive the proper nutrients. This congee can also be served to babies who are ready to eat real food, for the same reason. If you want even more nutrients in the congee, you can add a variety of carrot, winter melon, baby bok choy or Chinese cabbage.

As you can see, congee is a very versatile meal. It is easy to make and tastey to eat!!

1 comment:

Kate / Kajal said...

I absolutely love congee , its something u can give me anytime and i'd happily finish the bowl for you. Of course without the salted egg i.e. ... :P. This looks delicious.