Rice porridge, sometimes called congee is one of the many comfort foods which are also available from street food vendors. Rice, being an easily digestible food, when overcooked into porridge form is also suitable infants who are being introduced to solid food and those who are feeling unwell.
Its origins may have been as a peasant food, where a handful of rice can stretch further to feed a whole family when cooked into a gruel form. These days however, it has shed that humble image and established itself as traditional, hearty and tasty home-cooked meal.
The porridge I make is served with spicy dried anchovies and choy sum in soy.
1 cup of white rice, washed
3 cups of water
½ teaspoon salt
100g dried anchovies (cleaned, if using larger variety)
½ onion, sliced
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
Choy Sum in Soy
4 heads of choy sum, sliced lengthwise at the thicker stems. Alternately, you can use pak choy
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Add all the rice porridge ingredients in a pot and let it cook over low heat. Keep the lid on. The rice needs to overcook until the grains are very soft. Add water if necessary.
Fry the onions and anchovies in the oil for a minute. Sprinkle the chilli powder and coat well. Fry until the anchovies are crispy and take them off the heat.
Sauté the garlic in a pan, immediately add the vegetables and soy. Simmer for two to three minutes, just enough to wilt the leaves and tenderise the stems. It should be ready to serve in a minute.
Tuck in and enjoy!