Slow Cooker Congee with friends

congee

Just back from another lovely craft weekend.  A weekend full of making and chilling and eating.  Fun.  Always, always fun.

And one of the nicest things about these weekends is the pleasure of being fed, and being able to prepare just one meal, and being able to take the time to make sure it’s a special one.  This weekend I was on brunch with the lovely Alison and we made Congee, a delicious chinese rice porridge, which is usually savoury, but could be sweet too.

Congee is such a flexible dish, you can make it sweet or savoury – adding to the basic recipe for the last few hours of cooking to create a base, to which garnishes can be added.  So great when you can put it all on the table and people can customise their own dish, and amazing to take to work the next day as a lunch.  It’s also a great way to feed a crowd. We served it up with dumplings on the table, and plates full of tofu, seaweed, enoki mushrooms, chilli, soy and spring onion.

Slow Cooker Congee

This recipe is probably enough for 6-8.  I made 1.5 quantity to feed 12 people.

Basic congee:

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup shortgrain rice
  • ½ cup of sweet rice (available from Asian supermarkets & best for congee)
  • 10 cups of water (10 cups of stock if savoury)

Method

Set cooking level to low – and cook overnight – 8-10 hours (can go longer if you like). You can make sweet or savoury congee by adding to this basic mix. 

For savoury congee, add stock instead of water.  Most recipes use stock powder added to the water for cooking. Then you flavour the basic congee however you like. I added a pork slow cooked casserole, which I just made up:

Asian pork

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 1kg pork scotch fillet
  • Punnet of shitake mushrooms
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • ½ cup chinese cooking wine
  • 1 Small chilli (optional)
  • Oil or fat to brown.
  • Ground pepper & 1 tsp salt

Method

Cook onion in oil or fat until translucent, add chopped pork and brown.  Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low 140ish for a few hours or until meat is falling apart.  Keep in fridge until ready to use.

Pork congee:

When rice is cooked, add pork and stir through – you can leave it to cook for another hour to throroughly warm, or warm it up before adding and stir through.

Add spring onions, white pepper, and soy to taste.

Garnish each bowl, or leave them on the table for people to make their own:

  • Enoki Mushrooms
  • Tofu
  • Spring Onion
  • Chilli
  • Boiled Eggs
  • Asian pickles
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