Sorry for the hiatus.
It’s been a busy past few months, including two wonderful weddings – one of which was my own! I’m happy to be back in the kitchen and excited to use all of our new wedding gifts and matching cookware. I feel like such a grown-up.
My first introduction to congee was a few years ago at one of my husband’s bi-monthly family dinners. A few times a year, Popo (grandma in Chinese) makes a huge vat of turkey Jook, another name for congee. Congee is a popular Asian rice soup made by cooking rice in water or stock until it has broken down to a porridge consistency. At first I have to say that I was not overly fond of its bland taste but saw the potential to spice it up.
As the the name of this blog would suggest, I’m all about breaking bland so I had to try making my own version. Loaded with lots of fresh ginger, turkey or chicken, and a variety of delicious toppings, this meal is now on my comfort food rotation. I like to add sautéed mushrooms and bok choy, because for me, a meal isn’t complete unless its got veggies! Congee is a great way to use leftover roast turkey, say after Thanksgiving or Christmas – and it freezes well, so why not double the recipe?
Don’t tell Popo, but I like my version best, shhhh….
Serves 4-6 people, recipe by Kirsten
1 cup of long-grain white or brown rice (pictured above is with white rice)
3 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
8 cups of homemade turkey stock (or 4 cups store bought stock + 4 cups of water)
1 cup of cooked, shredded turkey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Toppings: choose as many as you like
– chopped green onions
– chopped peanuts
– sautéed mushrooms
– steamed bok choy
– crunchy chow mein noodles
– soy sauce
– Sriracha or other hot sauce
– sesame oil
– soft poached egg
1. Place rice, ginger, and stock in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the cooked turkey and cook for another 15 minutes or until the rice has broken down* and resulted in a thick creamy soup. If the soup is too thick you can add some water, 1/2 cup at a time, until you reach a desired consistency.
3. Add salt, sugar, and rice vinegar. Adjust seasoning to taste.
4. Serve immediately with toppings of choice.
*If using brown rice you will find it takes longer to breakdown than the white rice.