Growing up in a Vietnamese home, chicken noodle soup was not really a “remedy” when I was sick. Sure, a bowl of homemade pho would hit the spot. But something I found more comforting was congee.
Even these days I reminisce about that bowl of rice porridge. Thick and creamy, it takes some time to make, but is totally worth the patience. To expedite the process, I’ve cut out some of the traditional steps, like boiling my own chicken to make the broth and adding ground ginger instead of a fresh chunk. But you can totally do that if you’d like. I just needed a quick fix, given the fast onset of the cold I had these last few days.
Also, I made this dish a bit more modern, using thinly sliced sirloin steak that’s been marinated in worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, freshly ground black pepper and salt. The steak is pan-seared to medium, so the middle stays pink and juicy. Remember, after you sear the steak to perfection, allow it ample time to sit before slicing, so the juices redistribute nicely. I also added a seven-minute soft boiled egg and topped the porridge with fried red onions and green onion oil. Voila! The perfect get-better-soup.
- 1 qt chicken stock
- 1/2 cup jasmine rice
- 1/8 tsp white ground pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 egg, seven-minute soft boiled and sliced in half
- 6 oz sirloin steak or meat of choice, cooked to preference and sliced thinly
- 4 tsp fried red onions
- 1 stalk green onions, chopped and cooked for 1 minute in 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- In a medium pot, bring the chicken stock, jasmine rice, pepper and ginger to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and allow to cook for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring twice during the first hour and more frequently the remainder of the time.
- During the last 10 minutes, stir in the fish sauce.
- Divide the congee into 2 bowls and finish with toppings of choice.
I prefer my congee thicker, so I cook it a tad longer. For a looser congee, stop cooking when it reaches the consistency you prefer.