Congee (Chinese Rice Porridge)

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So there is this big sporting, widely televised event that is slowly approaching.

And I will not be watching.  Nope.  Just not a fan.  Not even the commercials or half time show peak my interest.  Instead I will actually be at a department function that night and determinedly ignoring all Super Bowl conversation.  But this means I actually have something to do Super Bowl night rather than sit at home, bitter at football and the world.

But today I am not talking any more about the Super Bowl.  Just soup.

I know “rice porridge” may not be a huge attraction, but Congee is a very special soup.  I first tried it when my aunt hosted Chinese New Year many years ago, and it has been true love since.  Congee is a basic, hearty rice soup, but the real appeal is all the stuff you get to put on top of it.

Or the fried bread that is a traditionally served with it.  Insert drooling emoji here.

For a long time, I always relied on going to Chinese restaurants for my congee fix when I was back in Houston.  Mom tried making it at home once, and it turned out less than desirable.  But with determination in my heart, I tried again.  And I was happily surprised that my congee at home was just as good as anywhere else.  So I piled up a bunch of toppings and tucked in.

And I suppose you could eat this while watching the S**** B***.

CONGEE: CHINESE RICE PORRIDGE
Adapted from Serious Eats

INGREDIENTS

6 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup long grain rice
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2-2 cups water
White pepper, to taste
8 links Chinese sausage or 1/2 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced

For Toppings:
French fried onions
Chopped green onions
Sriracha
Soy sauce

DIRECTIONS

In a large sauce pan combine chicken broth, ginger, rice, and salt. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for 1- 1 1/2 hours, stirring and mashing as it cooks. You will need to stir often to avoid rice burning on the bottom of the pan. As it cooks, add water as need to reach desired consistency (I used the full 2 cups).

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Brown sausage/pork. Remove from pan, leaving some drippings. Fry shallots in pan, using any olive oil as needed. Stir meat and shallots into congee.

Season with taste with sriracha and soy sauce. Top with green onions and French fried onions.

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