Congee

Congee

I normally feel well, I haven’t had a cold or really any ailments in a while. So there I was, taking my health for granted, when low and behold, something hit me out of nowhere, fast. I was down for the count. Muscle aches, headache and I’ll spare you the rest of the deets. You’re welcome. I’m looking at it as a couple of days of forced rest.

I had no food in the house and no real appetite. I was chatting with a friend of mine (who also happens to be an acupuncturist) and she recommended I make some congee when my appetite starts to return.
I ordered up the ingredients, and once delivered, I began to cook.

Congee is a traditional healing food in Chinese Medicine that is extremely easy to digest. It’s a bland, low in fiber, rice porridge that is also really nourishing for the spleen. The spleen qi in Chinese medicine is not just the organ, but the entire digestive system. And that my friends is what I needed. I need to be kind and gentle to my system as I reintroduce foods. I’m playing a little fast and loose by adding the veggies. What can I say, I’m a “living on the edge” kind of a gal.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

For Porridge

  • 1 cup white rice (I’ve used long grain, jasmine, etc).
  • 7 cups stock (I usually use homemade veggie.  If using store bought, please read the ingredients)
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced

For Toppings – you can use whatever strikes your fancy.  I like:

  • Tamari, toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, scallions thinly sliced, sautéed mushrooms, carrots thinly sliced (matchsticks).

PROCEDURE:

  • Rinse rice well or let it soak for at least 30 minutes to release the phytic acid and arsenic
  • Add stock, rice, garlic and ginger to pot, bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer for 60 minutes.  Rice will become thick and porridge like consistency.
  • Remove from heat.  Place congee in bowls and top as desired.

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