Congee, the ultimate Chinese comfort food, gets a whole-grain spin with the easy substitution of brown rice. Simple and satisfying, this recipe is just the thing to make when you’re feeling under the weather or craving something warming and heartening. Brown rice is a nutritional powerhouse, offering fiber to aid in digestion and satiety, protein for sustained energy, zinc for immune function and also helps lower bad cholesterol. Mushrooms contain selenium and vitamin D, helping to boost mood, thyroid and immune function. For an even heartier meal, add some shredded chicken or a fried egg to this recipe.
Total Time: 2 hours
- 1 cup short grain brown rice
- 8 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock to make this recipe vegan)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups sliced mushrooms (try button, shitake, cremini or whatever you have available)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Finely grated ginger, to taste
- Salt and soy sauce or tamari, to taste
- Sesame oil, to serve
- Thinly sliced scallions, to serve
- Hot chili sauce (such as Huy Fong), to serve
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, combine the rice and stock, and bring up to a boil. Lower to a simmer and half cover the pan. Simmer gently for 1/2 – 2 hours, stirring every so often to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add a bit more stock if needed to let the rice cook completely, until you have a texture similar to oatmeal.
- Season lightly with a pinch of salt to taste.
- While the rice cooks, prepare the mushrooms. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt, and allow to cook undisturbed for 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, and continue to cook until all the released liquid evaporates and the mushrooms turn golden brown in places. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- To serve, distribute the congee between 3 or 4 bowls, and stir through the desired amounts of grated ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil to taste. Top each bowl with mushrooms, sliced scallions, and a drizzle of hot chili sauce, if desired. Enjoy!