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Oatmeal congee (jook)

rworange Jan 7, 2010 10:43 AM

This topic on using oatmeal to replace cream as a soup thickener, inspired me to try my hand again at savory oatmeal.

Oatmeal as soup thickener
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/674906

After playing around with this for a few weeks I got the basic oatmeal jook recipe down and also came up with a fabulous recipe for sweet potato congee with ginger and tangerine peel.

I started by Googling to see if there was any recipe for oatmeal congee and the only thing I found was this

Mark Bittman's Savory Oatmeal with Scallions and Soy Sauce
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

The problem with that was while it was good, there was truth in advertising … it was savory oatmeal, not jook.

Looking at regular jook recipes, one of the constants in addition to long cooking time, was using more liquid than when making rice.

After trying different measurements, the best ratio seems to be 1:4 … 1 cup oatmeal to four cups of water. In my recipe for a single serving below, I upped the water a bit to compensate for the smaller portion of oatmeal.

Using more liquid resulted in a congee that was too thin and needed to be cooked longer to thicken. Using less resulted in savory oatmeal that would stick to the bottom of the pot.

Water can be used, but chicken stock obliterates any oatmeal flavor and gives it a wonderful savory richness.

I love this. In addition to being healthy, it is something I can start at breakfast and just leave on a low burner until I’m ready for lunch. I avoid salt, so if soy sauce makes you happy, go for it.

I used Quaker rolled oats. I found congee recipes using lots of other things beside rice such as millet. So steel cut oats could be used. You would just need to play with the liquid and cooking time.


BASIC OATMEAL CONGEE

1/2 cup rolled oats
3 cups water or stock (chicken, vegetable, fish, etc)

Garnishes (or use your own favorite congee ingredients)

Sliced mushrooms (1 – 2)
One sliced scallion
Diced fresh ginger (about a teaspoon or as much as makes you happy

1. Put liquid, oatmeal, sliced mushrooms, ginger and white section of scallion in pot.. The mushroom, ginger and scallion could be added in the last 10 minutes of cooking, but I think putting them in at the start ups the flavor of the congee

2. Cover and bring to a boil

3. Remove cover and reduce heat to very low. Cook uncovered for 1 – 1/2 hours until thickness is to your liking. Stir occasionally to keep oatmeal from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

4. Garnish top with green part of sliced scallion.

OATMEAL AND SWEET POTATO CONGEE WITH GINGER AND TANGERINE PEEL

This can be made with water, but using chicken stock so ups the deliciousness that I’d highly recommend using that

1/2 cup rolled oats
3 cups chicken stock
1 medium sweet potato, cubed (or 1 cup cubed butternut squash)
Diced fresh ginger (about a teaspoon or as much as makes you happy
Fresh organic tangerine or orange zest (about a teaspoon or as much as makes you happy)
Sliced green scallion for garnish

1. Put liquid, oatmeal, sweet potato, ginger and tangerine zest in a pot..

2. Cover and bring to a boil

3. Remove cover and reduce heat to very low. Cook uncovered for 1 – 1/2 hours until thickness is to your liking. Stir occasionally to keep oatmeal from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

4. Garnish top with green part of sliced scallion

  1. g
    goodeatsgal Jan 7, 2010 04:24 PM

    Wow. Thanks for this. I love congee but since the traditional recipe uses white rice, I don't make it as often as I'd like (for health reasons). And I've tried making it with brown rice, but it doesn't result in a smooth enough jook. I'm going to try it with oatmeal!

    1. f
      foodwich Jan 8, 2010 09:06 AM

      made this in the morning for lunch as you suggested. its fabulous. thank you very much. will play with other garnishes and i did print out bittman's recipe to use some of the ingredients as suggestions. i might try dried mushrooms next time and grate the ginger fine. also needed some meat and chicken sausage or frozen meat ball chopped up would also be interesting. again thank you. a good lunch recipe.

      2 Replies
      1. re: foodwich
        rworange Jan 8, 2010 09:55 AM

        I made some with dried cloud ear mushrooms today whose only benefit AFIK is they have some health benefits ... and add some texture. They've been sitting on the self for a while and worked well in the oatmeal jook. I'm thinking dried shitakes would be great ... ooohhh ... I have some dried smoked onions ... going to have to give that a try.

        Yesterday I stumbled across this recipe with photos.
        http://ellenaguan.blogspot.com/2009/0...

        IMO, they don't cook it long enough ... the less cooked, the more like oatmeal rather than congee. Still the pork and crab sound interesting ... though I'd use real rather than imitation crab.

        1. re: rworange
          f
          foodwich Jan 9, 2010 05:23 AM

          oh yes one more to try. i love the inifinte possibilities. have been googling all sorts of congee recipes but todays will be with smoked turkey sausage, then tomorrow another meat. so on and on. so liberating and easy.

      2. c
        clacidic Jan 9, 2010 05:26 AM

        recommendation for jook/congee/savory oatmeal: get your hands on some rou song (meat floss). it's pork that has been stewed, teased apart into individual muscle fibers, then dried. it almost has the consistency of cotton candy, and the texture combination in porridge is amazing. classic congee topping available in chinese markets.

        1. d
          Diabeticbear Nov 16, 2011 07:42 PM

          I just made the basic recipe using chicken stock and oats that I had processed to powder in the food processor. It cooked in 15 mins. I added shredded chicken and a little chinese black vinegar, and it was fantastic !

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