Congee, a typical comfort food with many regional variations across China, is an ideal dish if you feel bad or want to make a leftover stew that will never disappoint. Congee can take hours to cook on a stove in water or broth until the rice disintegrates and turns the liquid into a thick, creamy pulp. So Betty Liu came up with a clever trick for this congee recipe: Rinse the rice and freeze it overnight. The frozen rice disintegrates quickly and cuts cooking time by half. Because the heart of the court is that rice, be careful when choosing your grains. If you don’t have jasmine, resort to short or medium grain white rice (like sushi rice) knowing you may need to adjust the cooking time and amount of water.
You can replace this water with broth for another layer of flavor and experiment with the toppings; congee is infinitely adaptable. But remember, it’s not meant to be overwhelmingly aromatic, but rather tender, nutritious, and easy to digest, so be gentle but creative with your variations. Decorate a bowl with it in the spring green garlic oil and in autumn, Turkey congee with crispy shiitake mushrooms is a great way to use up that leftover turkey from your Thanksgiving meal.
publisher’s Note: This recipe was originally published on January 19, 2020.