One of the best things I learned in my year of nutrition school was how to make congee. Seriously. I’m kind of obsessed with it. This incredibly easy and warming food has brought me such comfort that I had to share it with you here…
Congee is a rice porridge that originated in China thousands of years ago. It is cooked over long hours and often enjoyed at breakfast. I eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
It is made up of rice, one onion and lots of water, and you can throw in whatever else you want to flavour it! I add fresh ginger, unrefined salt and a generous pinch of saffron. I’ll also throw in some jumbo prawns on the odd occasion, and sometimes drizzle it with sesame oil and green onions, once in a while I also add tamari. My favourite time to make congee is super early on a rainy stay-at-home weekend morning, where I can enjoy its aroma as it cooks for hours.
Congee is not only delicious but it also has great health benefits as well. Cooking it with brown rice makes it a whole foods dish, complete with all its nutrients. And, by simmering it all day it “pre digests” the grains, making it easier for our digestive tract to break down the rest and absorb its goodness. [Wanna know other ways to support the gut? Read my blog post about the supporting the gut on Vitalia’s website here.]
Finally, congee has a grounding effect on our nervous system and state of mind. Because it’s warm and comforting, and you have to spend time eating it slowly, it helps to ground the mind at times when we’re overwhelmed, anxious or stressed, or flying too high too often…
Here is my recipe for congee! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
How to make congee
- 2 cups dry brown rice
- 12 cups of water (approximately)
- 1 heaping tsp of unrefined salt
- 1 knob of ginger, minced
- 1 onion diced (I like it diced a little chunky)
- 1 pinch of saffron
- Wash the rice several times to remove any dust or debris.
- Add the washed rice, 12 cups of water, salt, minced ginger, diced onion and saffron to a large stock pot.
- Cover with a lid and bring the congee to a boil. Reduce to minimum and let it simmer.
- Cook for several hours (I cook mine for at least four), checking and stirring regularly and adding water, as needed, if the congee is sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Turn stove off. Pour in bowls. Add condiments as you wish or enjoy it as is.