Congee will be a staple on our menu for a while.
When I eat homemade meals, I’m a much happier person. When my family eats homemade meals, they are much happier too. Our attitudes are better, we are more active, and my daughter, who we homeschool, is much more attentive. So why would we ever eat out? Or order in? Convenience. It’s just easier at times. But that ease comes with numerous problems: high blood pressure, fibromyalgia flares, poor attitudes, sluggish metabolism, and just general ickiness. It’s the perfect gut-healing meal.
When we were adhering to a paleo/primal lifestyle, we were all much healthier and I am determined to get us back to that point. Unfortunately, that means that I will have to cook a lot and finding easy meals is a necessity. And that is why I’m in love with congee, a Chinese rice porridge. It is also called “kanji” in India, “bubur” in Indonesia, “Okayu” in Japan, and “juk” in Korea. It’s a common dish in Asia and is said to have healing properties. It is often the go-to dish when one is ill, but because it is so cheap to make and because it can be filling, it is often served alongside many other dishes too.
Congee is rice porridge?
Yes. Think the consistency of slow-cooked oatmeal but with rice. And while it can be served sweet, it is most often served savory- with veggies, ginger, and fish sauce. I know, it may not sound too good at first. I am often turned off by mushy foods and when I first learned about congee, I thought it would be too much like rice pudding, which I don’t like. That’s why it took me so long to try it despite having an Instant Pot with a congee setting. But once I made it, I wanted to rewind my life back three years when I first learned about it so that I could have started enjoying the marvelous dish back then.
The beautiful thing about congee is that there are so many ways to make it. You can boil the rice with homemade bone broth (which is what I did), or you could use plain water. You can add meat, eggs, veggies, or you can make it sweet by adding fruit, nuts, etc. It can be as simple or as intricate as you want. Just check out this instagram search for some ideas. And if you are ready to get started, here is my recipe below:
- 2 cups of short grained rice, rinsed for to minutes until the water runs clear
- 11 cups of homemade chicken bone broth
- 3 carrots, peeled and half diced; half sliced thinly
- 10 radishes, washed and half diced; half sliced thinly
- 1 large onion, half diced; half sliced thinly
- 1 regular head of garlic, half diced; have sliced thinly
- 1 thumbsized piece of ginger, peeled and half diced; half sliced thinly
- Diced green onions (top before serving)
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil (EVCO)
- 1 tablespoon of Pink Himalayan sea salt
- Use the Saute setting on the Instant Pot to saute the diced veggies in coconut oil. Cook until the onions are clear. Turn the pot off.
- Add salt, ginger, and the rice and mix well. You want to make sure that the rice is well mixed and coated with the veggies and oil.
- Add bone broth being sure not to go above the MAX line.
- Close lide and make sure you also close the vent.
- Press "Congee" setting on your Instant Pot and press the "Adjust" button to move the indicator to "MORE" and then the "+" to increase the cook time to 45 minutes. This works for the consistency that we like it but you can leave it at the default setting. It will take about an hour to cook and fully depressurize.
- Once it has finished cooking, stir it and dish the congee into bowls. If you are using previously cooked protein, you should add it to the bowls before adding the congee. Top with reserved veggies and serve.
Cooking Protein in Congee: You can add raw protein to the congee at the same time that you add your rice.