Oh, my God, I made congee that KC recommended and made a hash of it. I got over-confident. "I've made risotto at least fifty times. I can do this," I thought. No.
- First, the recipe specified Jasmine rice, but I only noticed that after I bought sushi rice, so then I added jasmine rice to the shopping list but it was unclear if it was 4 oz of cooked rice or uncooked rice. My directions also cut the cooking time by 60% if you used frozen rice - but that didn't help. Again, I said, "I can cook rice, come on," and almost put in two times as much sushi rice as called for and added in the pre-cooked jasmine rice, and then used chicken stock instead of water. Amazingly, at one point it turned into a very glutinous paste. That part seemed to work out.
- Then I added flavors and destroyed it.
A. I cooked the shiitake mushrooms for four minutes at the right temperature and they burned. So no mushrooms.
B. Then I added the shredded pork, saying, "it doesn't matter that this is BBQ pulled pork, there's no sauce, I'm sure it isn't that seasoned. Maybe just a little smoky flavor." Wrong, wrong, wrong.
C. I was able to add the green onions and soy sauce correctly.
I took two bites and pitched it. Happily, I made so much of the rice base that I have a big tub of frozen unflavored congee that I held back. I plan to take some unflavored chicken breasts and poach them and mince them and try again. This time I won't be all cocky.
... flavoring really is key. Otherwise you just have rice goo which... eh.
Fresh ginger, white pepper, garlic, salt, and fat from either meat (I prefer pork) or sesame oil. It really can be good, just... maybe no bbq sauce.
Also I would totally understand it not being everyone's jam - it's (deliciously flavored, soothing) rice goo.
But yeah. Flavoring-wise, try, try again?
Posted by: KC | March 27, 2023 at 01:59 PM
(also: should end up as soup, not paste. It is fine to have paste and water it down, though?)
(but also I am not Authentic, so there is that. But I have had authentic congee repeatedly, and it is reaaaally good and the stuff we make at home is at least recognizably similar to my untutored tastebuds.)
Posted by: KC | March 27, 2023 at 02:00 PM
KC - It seemed to do that alchemy thing when it turns from one substance into another, like pasta and pate a choux. I have confidence in chicken and garlic.
Posted by: theQueen | March 27, 2023 at 09:29 PM
Chicken and garlic may well work!
But if not, add some powdered ginger even if you don't have fresh. And salt a spoonful of it to see if more salt is what's necessary...
Posted by: KC | March 28, 2023 at 11:41 AM
KC - I almost always have fresh ginger. White pepper, though, no. However, I just made wonderful little quiches that turned out very very well, so congee has been demoted.
Posted by: theQueen | March 28, 2023 at 08:42 PM
Quiches are a delight!
The white pepper is something I love, but probably isn't vitally necessary. Chicken and ginger and garlic (and salt or soy sauce or both) should work. But also, congee is not vitally necessary to try!
Posted by: KC | March 29, 2023 at 10:59 AM
KC - It's not going to go bad. That is if it freezes well. I imagine it does.
Posted by: theQueen | March 29, 2023 at 04:41 PM