BLACK RICE CONGEE
Congee is such a comforting dish, real warming, nourishing food. It’s so easy to make, takes next to no effort. On top of that because it’s cooked for such a long time to become a thick porridge, it’s easy to digest so it’s perfect if you’re run down or sick, or just want warming up with a tasty treat.
Aside from the above, the beauty of congee is it can be an awesome, wholesome blank canvas for whatever toppings you’d like to add. You can go the Asian route, or totally mix things up and add Mediterranean flavours to top. You can switch your grain, I used sticky black rice here, but you can use short grain brown rice, quinoa, millet..
For this picture I topped with simple avocado, sautéed red cabbage and spring onion. Partly just because it looks so pretty, but also Mem lurvves sautéed red cabbage, and since he was eating it afterwards..
Once cooked, I also mixed through sesame oil, soy sauce and some seaweed.
My local fish monger on Broadway market* have started selling fresh seaweed preserved in salt. Such a delicious little nutrient boost to pep up your meals. I’ve been adding it to stir fries, salads, topping off open toasts with it. You need to soak this, like dried seaweed, in water for 15 minutes to remove the salt.
Drain and rinse well, for this type of fresh seaweed I usually sauté for a minute before adding to whatever I’m eating.
So here’s my recipe. Add whichever toppings you like!
Black Rice Congee
100g black rice, short grain sticky
1 litre vegetable stock
1 piece kombu
3 dried shitake mushroom
For Asian flavours -
1 tbsp sesame oil
2-3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce, to taste
pinch of dried seaweed – wakame, arame , dulse are very nice. – rehydrate in cool water for 15 minutes. This will swell up quite a lot once rehydrated.
Soak the black rice over night.
Drain, rinse and add to a medium pan with your stock, kombu and shitake mushrooms.
Bring to the boil, turn down and simmer for an hour and a half, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
Add more liquid if the congee becomes too thick, or if you like it a little looser.
Discard the kombu, take out the shitake and slice and return or leave whole . If you don't like the texture you can discard these with the kombu.
Add toppings of your choice!
Some topping ideas –
Sliced quick fried spring onion, chopped avocado, chilli oil, sesame oil, soy sauce or tamari.
Sautéed kale, kimchi, cabbage, tempeh, garlic mushrooms, toasted seeds, roasted cherry tomatoes, aubergine, courgettes, chilli oil..
*FIn and Flounder - Broadway Fishmonger, Hackney