Congee is savory Chinese rice porridge. The rice is slow cooked for a long time so that the grains become creamy and easy to digest. The long cooking process makes it excellent for building qi and blood because much of the digestive work has been done by the cooking process. Congee is good for anytime (it’s a popular breakfast food in China), but especially indicated after giving birth and when your digestion or body is weak. This recipe can be adapted an infinite number of ways so please experiment with what’s already in your fridge by adding greens, parsnips, butternut squash, kabocha squash, pork, garlic, even curry powder.
I recommend making some bone broth to use as the basis of this recipe since you will benefit from all the minerals and gelatin in the stock. I’ve used chicken and ginger in this recipe because the chicken builds qi and blood and the ginger is warming and healing.
4 cups homemade chicken or bone broth (or store-bought chicken stock: If you use already made product, you may want to add some chicken bones to the stock during the cooking process.)
1 lb of skinless chicken breast or thigh meat, diced
6 cups water
1 cup brown or white rice (white is easier to digest), rinsed and soaked for 7 hours or more
1 inch fresh ginger, skinned and thinly sliced
2 large carrots, sliced
1 large sweet potato, cut into large pieces (it will fall apart into small pieces during the cooking process)
2 stalks thinly sliced scallions
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Salt, and pepper to taste
1. Place all ingredients except scallions in a large pot.
2. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a rolling simmer with lid on.
3. Cook for one hour or more until the rice absorbs all the liquid and becomes creamy. Stir occasionally, taking care to scrape the bottom of the pot. As the rice begins to break down and absorb the liquid, it may stick to the bottom of the pot. Brown rice will take longer.
4. Remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle sesame oil on top and add scallions.