Basic Pork Congee
Soup Name: Basic Pork Congee (or aka Skinny Pork Congee)
Traditional Chinese Name: 瘦肉粥 (shòu ròu zhōu)
Congee is one of the many comfort foods available within the Chinese cuisine. Nothing is simpler than pork congee and using this recipe as a base, you can actually go pretty far when loading it up with additions or adding different flavours. I use this especially when the children are sick and it’s a great first foods on top of baby cereal and smashed up vegetables.
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 8 bowls
The ingredients for the soup are: Dried scallops, skinny boneless pork cuts, long-grained rice, salt and water. To start, I usually start with really lean cuts of pork from the butcher and then cut them into large chunks that don’t shrivel up too small in the congee, but are small enough that the flavours come out. You can blanch the pork if you want, but being this thin of a cut, I usually don’t. I will however, salt the pork with about half a teaspoon of salt.
Begin to boil your water with cleaned rice. You can throw in the dried soaked scallops at this time, but the meat usually goes into the water when it boils.
Once the water boils, add in the fresh pork and let it boil on high for about 5 minutes and then reduce to a medium boil for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the bottom doesn’t stick and making sure it doesn’t boil over. At this time, I will transport the pot into my thermal cooker to let it bake some more. I also tend to add more water than normal because I like my congee watery!
The Kiddie Version
For the child with the stomach flu, this is what she got. Plain congee with some Japanese rice flavouring. She lapped it up, 3 bowls in a row. This is also why the extra water helps – get more liquid into her system.
Here’s my upgraded, “souped up”, adult version of the congee. It’s really a fabulous comfort food in that you can add anything like:
- salted peanuts
- pickled vegetables (like radishes, cucumbers)
- salted fish (Chinese-styled)
- preserved black bean fish (Chinese-styled)
- preserved and spicy tofu (foo-yu)
- pork floss
- green onions or parsley
- and the list goes on and on if you get creative enough