I love congee with a big dollop of chilli paste or fresh chopped chillies over it, plus a drizzle of black vinegar and a dash of quality, light soy. Congee for breakfast sets you up wonderfully for the day, but it’s delicious at any time of the day or night. And it's so much easier to make at home than you'd think.
½ cup long-grain rice
3 cups cold water
½ tbsp salt
½ tsp vegetable oil
5 cups fresh chicken stock
¼ cup Sichuan preserved vegetable*
200g roast chicken, shredded
2 corn cobs, blanched and kernels removed (see tip)
¼ cup coriander leaves
3 spring onions, julienned
1. Wash the rice in several changes of cold water before soaking it overnight in 3 cups of cold water with the salt and the vegetable oil. The next day, add the chicken stock and, over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover and cook for 2 hours, stirring from time to time, until the congee is almost smooth and creamy.
2. Wash the preserved vegetable in cold water to remove the coating, and chop finely. Add to the congee with the chicken and corn. Stir and cook for 3 minutes until all ingredients are hot.
3. To serve, pour the congee into individual bowls and top with the coriander and spring onion.
*From an Asian grocer or online.
Tip: to blanch the corn cobs, immerse them in a pot of cold water. Bring to the boil for 7 to 11 minutes depending on size, then plunge them into a bowl of cold water with ice. Cut the kernels from the cobs before adding to the congee.
If you like this recipe try Adam Liaw's roast chicken and brown rice congee.
Find more of Neil Perry's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.