Congee - Rice Gruel

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Title: Congee - Rice Gruel
Yield: 6 Servings
Categories: Chinese, Rice

Ingredients:

1 c Long grain rice
3 qt Stock [I used chicken stock.
-S.C.]
2 tb Minced Chinese preserved
-turnip
1 sl Ginger root, minced
1 Piece tangerine peel, soaked
-to soften and minced
Salt
Garnish of:
Chopped green onion
Chopped coriander
Slivered preserved ginger
Sliced tea melon


In all my years of eating and cooking Chinese food, I'd never tried Congee
(rice gruel) before yesterday. It just seemed so *bland* that I thought it
couldn't possibly be all that interesting. I was WRONG! The recipe below
gives a subtle but hearty "soup" which can be garnished in a virtually
infinite number of ways according to personal taste. I found that I like
just the basic stuff, unembellished the best. I substituted half a cup of
long grain rice and half a cup of glutinous rice for the long grain rice
and it worked very well. The preserved turnip seems to be used mostly for
its salt content. I found it unnecessary to add any more salt to the
congee. The tangerine peel gives a very subtle, nice hint of exotic perfume
to the dish. The pot I made set up almost like a pea soup when it cooled.
Good stuff! Ridiculously easy too...

Congee (Jook)

Combine rice, stock, preserved turnip, ginger and tangerine peel in a large
soup pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered
approximately 1-1 1/2 hours or until the rice is thoroughly broken up. Stir
occasionally to prevent soup from sticking and add boiling water if
necessary. When done, soup should be thick and creamy. Add salt to taste
and garnish with any or all of the suggested garnishes.

Variations: Just before serving, add cooked chicken, pork, ham or beef. Or
with rice add diced forest mushrooms, soaked to soften or dried shrimp.

From "The Regional Cooking of China" by Margaret Gin and Alfred E. Castle,
101 Productions, San Francisco, 1975.

From Gemini's MASSIVE MealMaster collection at www.synapse.com/~gemini