Michelangelo, an Italian artist, was known for fiery temperament and unconventional technique. He used ordinary working people as models for his saints and was able to make viewers of his paintings feel they were a part of the scene.
Let’s replace the painting with food. We too can use ordinary food that we can get as addition for a bland congee to make congee flavourful, colourful and have texture of crunch from vegetables. This also make the meal alive and lifted the bland congee into a beauty piece of food art.
I remembered grandma congee ingredients also have salted duck eggs, century eggs, preserved olive leaves, spring onions, black mushroom, dried shrimps, Chinese pickled vegetables, fish, fried oysters and scallops, fresh ginger sticks, fried shallots and poached chicken.
Congee is serve as breakfast, lunch and dinner in Malaysia. But even when I don’t feel sick I still find it as satisfying meal. Well, my first time cooking congee with my mom helping me on the method using rice cooker were successful. Here’s mine own creation with the basic method from mom.
My congee is cooked in rice cooker, has prawn heads and chicken stock, fish fillets and minced pork, added stir fry vegetables and garnished with cut fresh chili and extra soy sauce. I got to have chili in it, that’s me chili lovers. It’s comforting delicious, colourful, and flavourful congee like Michelangelo’s painting.
I have attached my first congee recipe below if you like to try it. Let’s cook!!!!
2-3 c cooked rice
1 ” fresh ginger
1 1/2 Tbs minced garlic
1/2 Tbs oyster sauce
1/2 Tbs soy sauce
6-10 prawn heads, fry with 1 Tbs oil and 1 Tsp minced garlic, once turned red, smashed and cook with 4 c water, salt and pepper to make stock
2 drumsticks plus 4 c water; 1 c extra water, 1 ” ginger, salt, black peppercorns and 4 garlic cloves to make stock
200-250 g minced pork
200 g basa fish, fillets
2 Tsp olive oil
1/2 Tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 Tsp minced garlic
1 Tsp Shaoxing wine
1 Tsp soy sauce
1/4 Tsp salt, and extra
1 Tsp pepper and extra
water, if necessary
Stir fry vegetables Ingredients
1 small broccoli, cut into bite size
1 carrot, cut into bite size
1 small packet vermicelli, soak in hot water until soft, cut in half and drain
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tsp garlic minced
2 Tbs water (OPT)
1/2 Tbs oyster sauce
1/2 Tsp soy sauce
1/4 cut red chili (OPT)
In the rice cooker, add cooked rice, two stocks (2 c each stock first), fresh ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce to pot and turn on rice cooker. Uncovered and stir occasionally for 45 minutes; to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom or until congee is smooth and no longer grainy and broken. Add more prawns or chicken stock and water if necessary.
In a bowl, combine minced pork, ginger, garlic, Shaoxing wine, salt, pepper, soy sauce, and oil. Mix well and set aside in the refrigerator. When congee is nearly done; has the right consistency: creamy. Add minced pork to congee, breaking down minced pork, and simmer until minced pork is cooked, for about 10 minutes.
Meantime stir fry vegetables: Heat oil in frying pan on medium heat. Add garlic minced, fry until fragrant about 1 minute. Next add carrot and broccoli cook until soften about 5 minutes. Then in a small bowl combine the water oyster sauce, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Add into the vegetables, toss to combined well. Now add egg and vermicelli in; stir to mix well about 4 minutes. Check seasoning again. Spoon out onto serving bowl and set aside.
When congee is done, change setting to ‘keep warm’. Add fish fillets to rice cooker. Stir and cover for 5 minutes or until it is cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve congee with stir fry vegetables and garnish with chili and extra soy sauce. Enjoy!!!!
Note: You can use any ingredients of your choice. Or you can add the ingredients like my grandma and mom does as mentioned above. You might want it more liquid, so add more stock or water.
You can omit chili. You can put fried shallots, Chinese doughnut, or fried tofu. Or create your own flavour ingredients. You can use vegetables, or box ready stock or cube packet stocks.
My first Fish and minced pork congee (porridge): https://helenscchin.com/2020/10/03/fish-and-minced-pork-congee-porridge/