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what do you add to your congee?

I have a hankering for congee. I've been poorly this week, and can't taste a thing, so I reckon congee is the answer.

What are your favourite additions to congee? What are the MUST haves in my congee to help me get over this 'flu?



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  1. I like scallions and fermented bean curd

    1. tofu, ginger, scallion, sesame oil, and a shrimp dumpling or two

      1. when I have the flu and have to cook the congee for myself, I usually add in a can of chicken, and scramble eggs (scramble as you drizzle it into the slightly boiling congee). This way you can a little meat (so the congee doesn't run right through you) and protein. If you have some mix frozen vege, and is able to swallow, add some of that for the color and the nature vege sweetness. This is the same congee I made for a friend when she was recovering from sugery.
        Now, when you are better, and able to stand to make yourself more, I'll go for the Chinese green bean congee. Greenbean is not the vege kind you get in American grocery store, but the dry, slighly oval shape ones you should be able to find in any Asian store. Beans need to be soak for several hours before you cook it. They are good to cool you down in this heat. During the cold season, you can change it to the red type.
        Hope this helps, and you feel better soon!

        1. I had the stomach flu a couple of weeks ago and the first thing I ate again (when I could stomach something) was congee. It was pretty plain - marinated some shredded beef with scallions, ginger, soy sauce and cornstarch to make it soft and then added to the congee near the end of cooking. Just drizzled with some sesame oil and sprinkled scallions on top.

          Normally, I like chopped 100 year old egg, scallions, ginger and roasted peanuts in my congee.

          1. Aw, youse guys!!

            you always come thru for me!

            I was thinking a little ginger, some diced pork belly, egg flower and some Chinese sausage. Maybe some fried won tons shredded up and some deep fried scallions to garnish.

            I don't think the system could handle fermented bean curd just at the mo. Or peanuts.

            Are you guys "boil from scratch" fans or " whizz some pre-boiled rice" kinda people?

            3 Replies
            1. re: purple goddess

              This was my Mother cold/flu congee.

              10 dried oyster
              2 peeled whole potatoes
              1 lb lean pork

              cook one pot of basic congee recipes with these ingredients. My Mother called this Lower Fever Congee. I would not use Chinese sausage since fat is not good if you are ill.

              When you get better than a whole new whole can be opened to you. Ask later.

              Basic Congee

              rice ( I use broken rice reduces cooking time, while other will use a blender to break up the rice to speed up cooking time)
              whole cloves of garlic (normally not by garlic is good for the body)
              A couple of dried shitake mushrooms would add flavor.

              Good luck and hope you feel better soon.

              1. re: purple goddess

                Definitely "boil from scratch" for me! :)

                1. re: purple goddess

                  Boil from scratch for sure! 2x broken rice and water go in the rice cooker the night before, followed by chicken bones/bits/whatever in the morning, set it to cook, and by the time I'm back from a run it's ready. Add some kim chee or scallion and chili oil and I'm good to go.

                  I like mung beans too as a meat alternative, and actually coco beans and favas work pretty well too.

                2. I'm a purist, I prefer plain congee with Chinese soy pickle veggie stems or lettuce (that's how AGV, Chinese brand advertise it). Also pork sung, which is dried shredded pork. You can usually find it at your local Chinese markets.

                  1. dried scallops, 1000 year old eggs, shredded dried pork, scallions

                    I also like pickled turnips/daikons, the unnatural yellow ones and pickled cucumber (the chopped black ones) but they're just a nice addition. I don't have to have them. If you're feeling poorly, maybe spicy fermented tofu will help clear your sinuses.

                    1. one of my favorite ways is to add ground pork, scallions, cilantro, and hot chili oil. have also been known to toss in a little bit of fried garlic here and there...

                      1. when i eat congee, i like it really plain. sometimes all i need is just maggi seasoning or soy sauce and some black pepper. other times i would add some pork floss, depending on my mood. but my favorite congee would be shrimp with green onions.

                        1. When I was sick, my mother would serve me plain congee with some minced beef. Since you have the flu, staying clear of anything greasy would probably help your stomach. Some pickled cucumbers (from the jar) go great with plain congee.

                          I usually make my congee with chicken stock, ginger, salted spareribs (salted overnight) & 1000 yr old eggs.

                          hope you feel better...

                          1. Looks like a lot of savory enthusiasts here. I like it with savory ingredients, but I also enjoy it with things like chopped dried plums (prunes) raisins, dried apricots or just about any other dried fruit. Especially if I'm on the road to recovery from some nasty bug. Soft, sweet, gentle congee makes me feel better than savory dishes when my system is unsettled.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: todao

                              Congee is normally savory but there are lots of sweet rice puddings (using sweet/sticky rice and fruits less like a soup and more like a pudding) less watery more.

                              Not something I normally cook, but I will check my recipes later after the BBQ and see if I have something to post. Lots of Asian dried fruits which get a different take on Western style rice puddings. Right now it is smoking time and I get to rest while the wood chips does it job.

                                1. re: todao

                                  I've had it sweet when I was growing up with dried dragon eyes fruit. I prefer it savory but the sweet hits the spot on a cold day. I never make it sweet myself, and have no idea how it's done but the rice in my mom's sweet version is different from the savory.

                            2. PG, my thai flatmate introduced me to "rice soup" many years ago. I always fall back to it when i'm poorly (or poor for that matter).

                              Start from scratch with the rice and think of chicken soup - chicken stock and bits of chicken. Grate in lots of fresh ginger and a bit of lemon rind, some greens (or Mali used to even add coleslaw mix). Stir in a lightly beaten egg at the end. Season with soy, sesame and garnish with spr.onions and a squeeze of lemon juice.

                              Even if you can't taste it, there's a lot of goodness in the mix. (btw i actually like my congee runny - more on the soupy side, and that is perrrrrrrrfect for poorly people) ;]

                              1. Plain congee: Semi soft tofu topped with scallions, cilantro, bacon bits, fried shallots/garlic with soy sauce and sesame oil dipping sauce. Add to this, shredded dried pork/ beef and fermented tofu.
                                Hot Chicken congee: one fresh egg and crispy chinese donut garnished with scallions and cilantro.....YUMMMMMM

                                1. from scratch... chicken w/ the pork sung. sometimes add in some pickled (spicy) radishes and/or bamboo shoots. pork w/ the preserved egg. try to have it w/ chinese donut or green onion pancakes on the side if possible

                                  1. Here's a couple I haven't seen mentioned yet:
                                    roasted pig's feet from one of those places where they have a roasted pig hanging in the window. I like some boiled with the congee but also some unboiled for the chewiness of the skin and the tendons.

                                    roasted pig's head from the same hanging pig. makes for some greasy congee tho.

                                    sliced fish w/ ginger and scallions.

                                    1. from scratch, definitely! I make mine with chicken broth instead of water, additions are ginger, cilantro, diced thousand-year-old egg and a drizzle of sesame oil. heaven! feel better...

                                      1. goji berries
                                        salted duck eggs
                                        1000 year old eggs
                                        canned sardines
                                        Chinese dehydrated fried shredded pork
                                        Chinese pickled cucumbers
                                        Taiwanese stinky tofu
                                        preserved radishes

                                        The congee? Always from scratch, and nurtured like you were making risotto from the finest Arborio rice.

                                        1. because she's so modest, I thought I'd let you all know that she has now posted the congee experiment