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Congee Wong rocks!

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peppermint pate Feb 16, 2006 06:45 PM

So after reading many posts on this board, I finally made it to Congee Wong today. It was perfect slushy, rainy congee weather. I was overwhelmed by the number of options, finally settling on a bowl of duck and chicken congee ($4.50!!). It was perfectly flavoured and I loved the texture, such great comfort food. As I was leaving, I saw someone dipping these fried dough things in their congee - intriguing. So what else should I try on a future visit?

  1. p
    peppermint pate Aug 16, 2006 07:13 PM

    Finally made it back to Congee Wong - although not quite as comforting as the last time I was there (a gray, rainy day), the duck and chicken congee was still quite tasty. Thanks to all the recs above, I also tried the turnip cakes with chiles -my, those are addictive little suckers. I was expecting a single saucer-like cake, like the radish cake at Cha Liu, but instead was delighted to find a little mountain of glutinous blobs, dotted with flecks of chile, egg, scallions and the odd little shrimp. They're crazy good - I just scrounged a few more from the take-out container in the fridge - still warm. My head was swirling around at all of the other great looking dishes - lo meins, cheung fun, can't wait to try more. Also noticed that the dessert restaurant 3 doors down is being replaced by...a new Congee Queen location. Leslie and Finch will be the congee epicentre of the city (or at least North York). Yum!

    1. q
      qtxniki Feb 19, 2006 09:09 PM

      you should also try congee queen at Don mills on lawrence.

      1. s
        sierramum Feb 17, 2006 07:53 PM

        Thanks so much for posting this, pate! We go for dimsum every weekend. I see them serving their congees with those long sticks and I've always wondered what they heck they were for and how they were to be eaten with the congee. Now I know! (It's just too bad that my caucasian hubby doesn't like congee. Oh well. That's more for me, right?)

        1. n
          need a beer Feb 17, 2006 09:48 AM

          try the clams in black bean sauce....hmmmmmm

          1. b
            baby_tran Feb 17, 2006 09:38 AM

            The long dough fritters are also used as one of the fillings for rice flour rolls...served with hoisin and peanut sauces (yum yum)!

            1. s
              Sim Feb 16, 2006 09:27 PM

              Chinese donuts- deep-fried dough.

              long sticks- slightly salty

              oval donut- sweet

              round, puffy donut with no hole- plain (good with strawberry jam)

              best to eat when fresh
              but you can reheat in oven

              I usually eat chinese donuts like regular donuts but some people like to eat the long sticks with congee or sweet milk

              best tasting Chinese donuts are sold at the congee restaurant inside T&T Supermarket food court (STEELES AND MIDDLEFIELD) in scarborough/markham. light and fluffy dough, no oily taste- very good.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Sim
                c
                Curtis Feb 16, 2006 10:30 PM

                Yes, that too. You can have the "churros-shaped" fritters with hot soy milk as well. Very good on a cold day.

                1. re: Curtis
                  p
                  peppermint pate Feb 17, 2006 07:31 AM

                  The ones I saw this guy eating were the salty long stick variety. The waitress told me they served sweeter ones as well. I've been meaning to make it up to that T&T store for ages so now you've given me yet another reason. Thanks for all the info - I think I've been bitten by the congee bug!

                2. re: Sim
                  c
                  cliff Feb 21, 2006 06:56 AM

                  The long stick is made of yeast dough (bread dough), the other two kinds risen with baking powder/soda to give a more cake like (tim doughnut) texture.

                  there is a congee restaurent at market square (kennedy and steeles) that makes the doughnut sticks in a huge wok (probably 3 feet across) a number of times a day in the open kitchen.

                  all 3 kinds can be found in bigger chinese groceries. a good way to restore the crispiness is to cut the doughnut into smaller pieces and reheat on low setting in a frying pan over the stove (about 10 -15 minutes).

                3. a
                  Anoko Feb 16, 2006 07:45 PM

                  Fried Sticks and Crullers (sp?), althought both go well with congee but they taste different. Fried sticks are well, soemthing fried, crullers are a bit sweeter and ther other one that's like a bun? is a bit salty. Taste different, different textures but all serves for the same purpose and all are good and sort of cheap.

                  1. r
                    Ronin Feb 16, 2006 06:58 PM

                    Watch out for these, known as "deep-fried devils" to Cantonese speakers. Good when they're fresh; still greasy as hell but leaden when they're not.Think slightly salty cruller. Jook is so nice on a crap weather morning.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ronin
                      The Chowhound Team Feb 16, 2006 07:48 PM

                      We ask that posters on Chowhound not change the subject line of posts unless the actual subject matter under discussion has drifted far, far away from where the subject started. For posters who use our Hotposts feature, which is not threaded, subject changes make it difficult for them to follow the conversation.

                    2. p
                      pinstripeprincess Feb 16, 2006 06:50 PM

                      the fried dough things are actually a very regular occurance with congee, i'm slightly surprised you haven't seen it before.

                      you can get them a few ways. one is the longer stick that's deep fried with a thinner batter. then there's sort of a big round donut that's a heavier batter deep fried but less so so it retains less oil. the third way is essentially the first but wrapped up in rice noodle.

                      mmmm.............. definitely comfort food kind of joint.

                      my sister is a huge fan of the wide rice noodles with braised beef.

                      i like the crispy fried chow mein with seafood on top.

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: pinstripeprincess
                        m
                        moo Feb 16, 2006 06:56 PM

                        these spicy pan-fried turnip cakes .. aw man i haven't posted up photos of it yet, they're just sitting on my computer .. i'll be back later with'em .. :)

                        and wonton noodles are always good, if you're ok with something simple .. big springy wontons, very al dente noodles ..

                        my SO really likes the wintermelon congee, but it's only available as a Large ..

                        1. re: moo
                          o
                          ondadl Feb 17, 2006 12:17 AM

                          i 2nd the turnip and chilis mmmmmmmmmmmm...

                          also the shrimp rice noodle rolls, hot and sour soup, even the wonton noodle soup is incredible and cheap!

                          1. re: moo
                            w
                            Wil Feb 17, 2006 07:57 AM

                            I second the turnip cakes, they are amazing, and no other place in the GTA comes close to making them this good!

                            I'll also second the wintermelon seafood congee, it's the best they have, although as moo stated, it's only available as a large (super bowl).

                            1. re: Wil
                              p
                              peppermint pate Feb 17, 2006 08:01 AM

                              Is it watermelon like I know it, as opposed to something like a winter melon? I'm trying to imagine the taste combination for the congee - it's not too sweet? I'll definitely try the turnip cakes next time as well. Thanks.

                              1. re: peppermint pate
                                m
                                moo Feb 17, 2006 08:57 AM

                                no, it's wintermelon .. typically used for chinese soups .. occasionally used in some stir fries .. it is mildly aromatic when cooked, but has no distinct sweet or salty flavours -- it's used in stir fries, soups, as well as some dessert dishes ..

                                1. re: moo
                                  p
                                  peppermint pate Feb 17, 2006 09:04 AM

                                  Okay, that makes more sense. I obviously misread the earlier posts - doh! Watermelon would have been kind of gross (and not particularly Chinese)...

                                  1. re: peppermint pate
                                    w
                                    Wil Feb 17, 2006 11:32 AM

                                    Hahahaha, opps, my bad! :) Bad bad misspelling! :)

                          2. re: pinstripeprincess
                            p
                            peppermint pate Feb 16, 2006 07:01 PM

                            I had never seen the fried dough before because (big confession moment)I've never gone out for congee before. I've only ever had a home-cooked version at a friend of the family's. The ones I saw were more of the stick kind - they were shaped a bit like churros. Are you meant to dip these in the congee or just eat them with it?

                            I need to go back with a few people next time so I can sample more dishes.

                            1. re: peppermint pate
                              c
                              Curtis Feb 16, 2006 07:10 PM

                              The fritters (any form of them) can be dunked in the congee or eaten separately, although they are more commonly eaten dunked or swimming in it. The elliptical-donut shaped ones are known as oxtail fritters and are denser and are slightly sweet (as opposed to salty). IMO, it's harder to find a good oxtail fritter in Toronto.

                              1. re: Curtis
                                a
                                Abby Feb 16, 2006 09:00 PM

                                The doughnut shaped thicker ones are called Cow tongue doughnut in Chinese not oxtail. They don't have any animal products in them, it's just a name. They are amazing and a bit sweet, but very very high calories and greasy. Worth every bite though!

                                1. re: Abby
                                  c
                                  Curtis Feb 16, 2006 10:28 PM

                                  Cow, Ox, fortunately I don't call it by the english name when I order it :). I can only assume they're called that because they resemble a cow's tongue.

                              2. re: peppermint pate
                                p
                                pinstripeprincess Feb 17, 2006 08:27 AM

                                mm... home made congee is the best. my grandmother makes a type with pork bones that's absolutely fantastic! but it's definitely something i can't get at a restaurant.

                                this is a personal thing... but i like to eat the fried dough by turning it upright and pouring congee into the little crevices and then taking intermittent bites of the congee filled stick with spoonfuls of congee.

                                1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                  j
                                  jennjen18 Feb 17, 2006 07:58 PM

                                  Oh wow, that sounds like a great idea!!! I shall try that sometime.

                                  Actually, my neighbour makes a MEEEEEEAN congee with pork ribs. She makes the congee base first, and pours the very very HOT congee onto the ribs to cook them, but not to boil them. This way, the ribs stay very tender, yet not chewy since they are exposed to only limited heat. Then fresh green onions on top. YUMMY!

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