classic congee with pork belly, egg and scallion
Well, this is definitely the easiest recipe I’ve ever posted on my site. If you’ve never had congee, it is the most delightful, savory rice porridge dish and requires almost no effort. If you can rinse rice, you can make this dish. Rinsing the rice is an important step for removing excess starch from the rice and after that you throw it in a pot with broth and simmer for 90 minutes. THAT’S IT. This is like the equivalent of chicken noodle soup in Chinese cuisine (specifically Cantonese). Truth be told, most Asian cuisines have some version of this dish just by a different name. It is often the first solid food fed to infants because it’s soft and easily digestible. As the rice breaks down over the cooking period, it becomes soft and creamy and absorbs the majority of liquid and what you’re left with is rice that has absorbed every bit of chicken flavor. It can be topped with just about anything from fresh herbs to jammy eggs to different meats or fish. It can also be served vegan/vegetarian by swapping in vegetable broth. It is hands-down one of my favorite meals for cooler days or for when I’m fighting off a cold.
Because there are so few ingredients in the dish, you absolutely have to use homemade chicken broth (or broth of your choice). It seriously makes all the difference. Now, I know not everyone has all day to simmer broth on the stove, so you’ll find my instant pot chicken stock recipe below and it’s so easy and flavorful and perfect for this dish. It makes more that you need so I usually freeze some so I can always have it on hand. Otherwise, go forth and top your congee with all your favorite toppings. Mine just happen to be pork belly, egg, scallion and my homemade chili oil. You can buy already cooked pork belly (thanks Trader Joe’s) or you can make my version and I’ll link the recipe below for that and my chili oil.
INSTANT POT CHICKEN STOCK:
makes 3 quarts
2 lbs. chicken wings
white parts of 1 bunch of green onions (you’ll need the tops for garnish for the congee)
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
3 quarts water
Place the chicken and remaining ingredients in the pot of an instant pot (be sure that the water doesn’t come above the max liquid line). Lock the lid in place and set the instant pot to ‘pressure cook-high’ for 1 hour. Allow the pot to naturally release. Strain the broth once cool. Can be stored for 1 week in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer.
Pork Belly recipe here.
Homemade Chili oil recipe here.