Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Month of Attempted Congee

When I was approached by Lorelle over at Year of Congee about doing a guest post for her blog, I thought "Perfect! I'll get to hear Lorelle say 'congee' in person and will finally know how to pronounce it!"

Then I thought "oooooh, and I'll get to try a new kind of food! Then write about it! Yay!"

As you can see, I was optimistic
At that point I started to notice some things about congee. Namely, some of the ingredients. Oy, so many ingredients! Sometimes ingredients make me weary.

But when I agree to do something I almost always follow through - most of the time...eventually...when I feel like it - and so I decided to make congee and see what the big deal was. I chose an easy, crock-pot-friendly recipe, since I was also trying to learn to love crock-pot cooking and, incidentally, had just been gifted one by Lorelle herself (and her mega-talented chef of a husband - hi Adam!).

First Attempt: January 15th
I started with some rice, water, fresh ginger (you guys, I totally peeled and shaved some fresh ginger!) and some shitaake mushrooms. I threw it all in the crockpot and pranced off to work, thrilled that I'd have a delicious meal to come home to!

Paulie arrived home before I did and called me to ask what the hell was going on in the crockpot. "Looks like...porridge," he said. "It's supposed to," I informed him. I heard a little slurp and then he said "can I, uh, am I allowed to doctor this up at all? Kind of tastes like air. But, you know, gingery air, so that's good!"


I gave him permission to do with it whatever he liked, and when I got home it was still fairly bleh. We put it into the freezer to use as a soup base in the future. Or, several soup bases, given the fact that I'd made enough to feed my household three times over.

Since then I've done little more than grumble at the bulging frozen tupperware every time I open the freezer for ice. Paul, ever the master of utilizing leftovers, did make some soup (bless his heart) but I didn't eat it because it was too spicy for my delicate princess palate.

Between me and my cocktail ice: congee
Then Paulie got sick, eureka! I thought that surely this would be an opportunity for me to Cure him with Congee - but no, he made himself a black bean/salsa/cheese thing to dip his chips in before I had a chance to thaw one of those mothers and turn it into something great. And it would have been great, I just know it.

I'm not giving up. Mark my words!

For the love of god can we PLEASE do something with all this congee?!


  1. Ha! You're doing great! Baby steps towards the congee! And way to shave the ginger, which doesn't sound like a euphemism for something dirty at all.

    Can I make some doctoring up suggestions? I'm going to anyways.

    1) Leftover roasted chicken with black bean sauce (this stuff, which you can totes get at Olivers or Asia Mart: with scallions and a fried egg. Put all that on top of your congee.

    2) Thinly sliced beef (you can just ask the butcher at the grocery store what's good for a stir-fry) that you've let sit in soy sauce and brown sugar for an hour or overnight, or anywhere in between, stir-fried with sliced onions and snow peas. Or skip the onions and snow peas, stir-fry the beef by itself really quickly, and put kim chee on top of it. And put all that on top of your congee.

    3. Heat oil in a pan. Slice up tofu. Roll the tofu slices around in some beaten egg. Put them in the hot pan till they're golden on one side, then flip them over till they're golden on the other side. Take them out of the pan and put them on some paper towels. Stir-fry some string beans in the pan. Bacon wouldn't hurt either, but it's not a deal-breaker if you don't have bacon. Put all THAT on top of your congee, and then add tamari and sesame oil.

    Keep up the good fight! Et cetera.

    1. Ha! Thanks for the tips, you make it sound so easy that I just might have to try one of these...probably #1. You KNOW I'll keep you posted ;)