I know what you’re probably thinking, “What’s congee?”
According to Wikipedia:
“Congee or conjee is a type of rice porridge or gruel popular in many Asian countries. When eaten as plain rice congee, it is most often served with side dishes. When additional ingredients, such as meat, fish, and flavorings, are added whilst preparing the congee, it is most often served as a meal on its own, especially when one is ill. Names for congee are as varied as the style of its preparation. Despite its many variations, it is definitionally a thick porridge of rice largely disintegrated after prolonged cooking in water.”
In some ways I guess you could say congee is to Asia what oatmeal is to America.
When I was in Burma, a simple white rice congee with boiled peas was a common breakfast staple. Now that may not sound all that mouth-watering but the rice was so incredibly fragrant after it was cooked in a stock. It was then often topped with some simple herbs or lightly fried onions. It was such a light and simple way to start the day. Surprisingly delicious too.
This brown rice congee recipe comes from my friend, Julie Garren, a personal chef here in western MA.
Julie recruited me several years ago to do some cooking demos for my weight loss class. I was thrilled with her knowledge of Weston Price and traditional foods. It was such a relief when I didn’t have explain to her why she shouldn’t use canola oil. Or why she should use butter. Isn’t it nice when chefs understand that?
And so now, I’m recruiting her to help me out with some recipes here on Fearless Eating. Because I’ve been blogging so much about beef stock lately, I asked Julie to start out with a good beef stock recipe.
Congee may seem like an odd place to start but I PROMISE you, you will love this brown rice congee recipe for both its simplicity and flavor. I made it the other night and it was absolutely delicious. I plan on cooking big batches of this during the winter and warming up a bowl in the morning for a quick and simple breakfast.
OK, let me turn it over to Julie…
I love starting my day with bone broth and this dish is my favorite way to do it! Warm rich bone broths are a grounding and calming way to start your day. I added shiitake mushrooms, bone broth, and nori to this traditional rice porridge to give an extra boost of B-vitamins and minerals.
Make a batch of congee at night while cooking dinner and reheat a portion of it on the stove in the morning. This recipe is based on my homemade broths which are usually gelatinous from cooking in the stock pot for 48 hours. Feel free to adjust the ratio of broth to water to taste depending on the concentration (beefiness) of your bone broth. Enjoy!
Craig Fear is the creator of Fearless Eating and the author of three books, The 30-Day Heartburn Solution, Fearless Broths and Soups and The Thai Soup Secret. After years helping clients with digestive issues, Craig decided to pursue writing full-time. He intends to write many more books on broths and soups from around the world! Click here to learn more about Craig.