Salmon Congee

I find it weird that I haven’t yet shared a congee recipe here. Weird not because we have it very often at home (the hubs deems it as sick people food) but weird because I crave for it almost everytime it rains or gets cooler in the night.

I love congee.
Salmon Rice Porridge 1

While it is sick people food in that it’s easy to ingest & digest, it is also a kind of comfort food for me. Noodles do it most time but there are moments when only congee or rice porridge can satisfy. Soft mushy bowl of peace. Because congee = peace to me. In my ideal world, congee is meant to be savoured slowly, deliberately, quietly, meaningfully, meditatively.

Salmon Rice Porridge 2

It’s strange that this humble food carries such meaning because in times past, congee was food for peasants. For the poor. People who had very little and could not afford to fill bowls to the brim with rice. Instead, they added  water into the pot with the few grains of rice they had, increasing the volume and giving the impression that there was more.

Salmon Rice Porridge 3

There’s much to be thankful for, isn’t there? What was created as a measure of survival is now looked upon with nostalgia and comfort.

Salmon Rice Porridge 4

In those days, all they had to make it more palatable were probably a few pinches of salt & a dash of soy sauce. Today, we can make it our own by adding an infinite variety of meats, vegetables & seasonings.

Salmon Rice Porridge 5

Restaurants boast about  their unique blend of 4-5 rice varieties to create the silkiest, softest congee ever known to man. And charge an unseemly amount for a little bowl.

Salmon Rice Porridge 6

I make it my own in a variety of ways. Sometimes I like it plain white. Other times I to spruce it up with a little something, like fish or pork.

Salmon Rice Porridge 7

But in the end, I still see congee as food from home. Food eaten on grandma’s dining table. Food for the sick. Food for dreary soul.

Salmon Rice Porridge 9

You can add as many toppings as you like into a bowl of congee. It’s still a humble homely dish.

Salmon Rice Porridge 10

A dish that, I reckon, should be given a silent but dignified tip of the hat or nod for its long eventful culinary history.

Salmon Rice Porridge 11

Do you feel the same about any particular comfort food? Let me know I’m not the only one. 🙂

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“A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in His holy habitation.” (Psalm 68:5)

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Salmon Congee
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ½ cup uncooked Rice (I used 1 cup leftover cooked rice & ¼ cup uncooked rice)
  • 5 cups Fish/Chicken Broth*
  • 2 inch piece Salted Fish (may substitute with 2 tbsp Fish Sauce)
  • 2 Salmon Steak
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • ½ tsp ground Black Pepper
  • (optional toppings) Century Egg, Salted Duck Egg, Fu Yee (white fermented beancurd), Kimchi
Steps
  1. Pour rice & broth into a pot together with salted fish (fish sauce if using).
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 40 minutes of until rice is soft enough to your liking. Make sure to stir every now and again, scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking and burning.
  3. Meanwhile, season salmon steak with salt & pepper.
  4. Fry salmon pieces in an oil-less nonstick frying pan, about 3 mins per side until fully cooked.
  5. Remove bones & flake or break to bite-size pieces.
  6. Once congee is done, scoop out into bowls & top with salmon flakes & preferred toppings.
  7. Serve hot.
Notes
*I didn't have enough broth so I topped it with water. The salted fish gave out plenty of flavour.

Comments

  1. Confession time: I’ve never heard of congee before, but I am SO glad you’ve introduced me to it because this sounds right up my alley and super comforting for a chilly, winter day.

    It’s funny how the peasant food that was made in years past to get families by are the foods that we are drawn to when we are feeling under the weather or wanting a piece of home. The comfort foods I always want are my mom’s Spaghetti and Meatballs. (Seriously. When she makes a pot of it, it could feed our family for a week. Easily.) And my mom’s and grandmother’s Chicken and Spaetzel. That’s definitely a “sick person” food, but it’s so comforting and warm and filling and great for this gross weather we’ve been having in Dallas these last few days.

    Hope you’re doing well, friend!

    • I’m so glad to be the one who introduces congee to you! We take congee for granted here thinking that everyone in the world MUST know it because we grew up with it but what ignorant fools we are. LOL.

      Your idea of comfort food is perfect. Spaghetti and meatballs, Chicken and Spaetzel. So comforting and homey. I feel like these are foods we want, not only when we are sick, but when we need someone to give us a great big hug on a bad day. A warm bowl of this and you’ll feel loved all around.

      Cookie Week!! I’m excited. Can you tell?

      • I’m happy you did! It sounds delightful… and I find it fascinating how widely comfort foods can vary from place to place around the world, ya know?

        And you are SO right. Comfort food is something we want, not only when we’re sick, but when we want a big hug on a bad day. You really can feel the love through the food. 🙂

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  1. […] the same thing? Similar? Maybe risotto is in between the satisfying dry rice & comforting congee. In an uncomfortable category that most Asians cannot comprehend or have a taste […]

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