Congee with bok choy, golden fried garlic, green chilli and soy

Congee is deeply comforting at any time, says Simon Hopkinson, but it is also one of the finest hangover foods he knows
Congee with bok choy, golden fried garlic, green chilli and soy
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 125 g jasmine rice
  • 1-1.5 litres stock
  • 7 thick slices ginger, unpeeled
  • 3 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine

For the garnishes

  • 3-4 bok choy, or similar Chinese greens
  • 4-5 large cloves garlic
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • ginger, peeled and shredded, to taste
  • rice vinegar, for steeping
  • 2-3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 large green chillies, generally milder, sliced
  • light soy sauce
  • toasted sesame oil, optional
  • chilli oil, optional

Tips and Suggestions

For an authentic taste, try to find Chinese sesame oil, chilli oil and light soy sauce (a superior brand in each case).

Method

1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, mix togetehr the rice,1 litre stock and the ginger and bring up to a simmer. Cover and cook very gently indeed (a heat-diffuser mat is helpful), for at least 1 hour or maybe longer, stirring from time to time; the desired consistency should be that of porridge, and where the rice harmoniously marries with the stock as one; you may need more stock to get it just right. As ever, practice makes perfect. (You may also prefer to cook it in a very low oven, covered, but it must be finished on the stove top.)

2. Meanwhile, prepare the garnishes. Steam the bok choy until tender, then slice them. Gently fry the garlic in a little oil until pale golden and lightly crisp. Steep the shredded ginger in a little rice vinegar.

3. Once you are happy with the consistency of the rice, fish out the ginger slices and discard, then add the rice wine and stir in.

4. To finish the congee, ladle it into bowls, distribute the garnishes as you see fit, then trickle on a little of the soy and sesame and/or chilli oils.

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