hi friends! going to congee village tonight and am so excited! i know my fellow chowhounds are fans, but as i am predicting a vast menu, wondering if there are any suggestions? i like straightforward dishes, not too many ingredients or heavy sauces... thanks :)
Alright, as a longtime regular, I think it behooves me to list some of my favorite dishes at Congee Village. These are from the menupages.com menu for convenience' sake:
Sliced Beef with Black Bean Sauce Chow Fun Noodles (saucy and fatty, so not for you)
Beef Chow Mein with Chinese Veg. (Yes, chow mein! This is genuine chow mein - a nest of crisy fried noodles with beef and Chinese broccoli over it. There is a sauce, but the dish is rather light though not free from fat. This is really the answer for all the mediocre beef with broccoli dishes you've had elsewhere.)
The following are labeled "porridge" on the menu but are really congee. I find the "Healthy Vegetarian Porridge" boring and not very tasty. Here are some flavors I like:
Fresh Squid with Ginger Sauce Porridge
Chicken W. Black Mushroom Porridge
Sliced Fish and Lettuce Porridge
Roast Duck and Meat Ball Porridge (warning: a little fatty)
Sliced Beef & Fish Porridge
Onto the rest of the menu. The Hot and Sour Soup is good and spicy, perhaps a bit sweet but a good rendition. The Mustard Green, Bean Curd and Fish Head Soup is too fatty and not recommended. I don't have soup very often at Congee Village.
Chinese Green with Garlic (simple and nicely done, with plenty of garlic)
Sauteed Lotus Root with Special Bean Paste Sauce (one of my perennial favorites on the menu - the dish is not complex but is inspired)
Assorted Vegetables Buddhist Style (includes ginkgo nuts and bamboo pith!)
Eggplants Vegetables W. Bean Curd (saucy/liquidy)
House Special Chicken (not very saucy but great)
Steamed Chicken with Black Mushroom (and Chinese sausages and lily buds and black mushrooms and ginger and scallions and jujubes - can you tell that I like it? Many ingredients but very harmonious and not very saucy. A little salty.)
Sha Cha Beef In Casserole (saucy but likely to appeal to most steak-lovers; the Sha Cha sauce would be good for grilled steak, I'm sure!)
Rice Baked with Chicken and Black Mushroom (another dish I order often - simple but delicious, and not saucy)
Rice Baked with Two kinds of Chinese Sausage (also not saucy)
Shrimp with Fish Sauce (moderately saucy)
Sea Clams and Sweet Pea Pods with X. O Sauce (I remember having razor clams with X.O. sauce, but I didn't see that on the menupages.com menu. Moderately saucy, immoderately wonderful and one of the best things I've had at Congee Village.)
I saw a bunch of other dishes that looked great to me, and some that I'm sure I've had but don't remember.
The two lamb chop dishes aren't on the menupages.com menu. One is made with onions and the other with black bean sauce, and both are great.
Well, here are some other dishes I like:
905. Sauteed Beef with bitter melon
C202. Fried Fish Head In Casserole
C212. Lamb and Dried Bean Curd In Casserole (good winter comfort food, a little bland but fresh-tasting)
C216. Assorted Seafood with fried bean curd (ditto)
S515. Sauteed Crab with ginger & scallion
I may have had some of these quite some time ago, but I imagine they're still just as good. I think most any fish dish would be very good. There are a bunch of other dishes that look good to me, but which I don't remember having. There's one spectacular tofu casserole. I think it's this one:
717. Fresh mixed Mushrooms and Fried Bean Curd
If it's the one I'm thinking of, there are several types of mushrooms, bean curd with wonderful, silken texture and crispy fried skin, and little slices of carrots, scallions, and ginger. If it's not the one I'm thinking of (which used to be on the double-sided Chinese-only menu), it'll still be good.
So, are you inviting me. :-) [laugh]
Have a great dinner!
Congee is a rice porridge. It can range from smooth and creamy in texture, with all of the rice grains practically boiled down, or it can be more soupy/ricey. There is no cream, at any rate. It's really breakfast food, and is often served with fried dough/crullers. It's known as "jook" (I believe pronounced more like joke or choke)in Chinese.
re: Peter Cherches
We have removed some of the postings that discuss the details of congee as they are off topic for the Manhattan board (the focus of which is where to FIND great congee, and other deliciousness). If you would like to discuss all the permutations of, or definition of congee, etc. please start a new thread on General Topics.
I like the congee with squid & ginger, which sound to me like pretty straighforward ingredients and flavors (if you care for porridge in this weather). And if you like to drink cosmospolitans, theirs are surprising good and inexpensive--don't know if the ingredients counts as too many ingredients! have fun.