Rice porridge, congee, jook, cháo... whatever you call this rice-based Asian breakfast dish, it's delicious. Here is the simplest version I know:
1/4- 1/2 cup cooked rice (leftover is perfect... short grain is best but not necessary)
2-3 cups water
1 knob of peeled ginger, smashed
2 or 3 Shitake mushroom caps, sliced (fresh or reconstituted are fine)
1 green onion, chopped
pickled bamboo shoot (found in little jars at Asian grocery stores)
Bring water, rice and ginger to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for as long as it takes for the rice to break down into a porridge. This can take an hour or so... sometimes longer if you have the heat very low. It will go a bit faster with a medium heat but you have to keep an eye on the water level and not let it cook down too much. You can do it overnight, in a slow cooker, if you wish. Some rice cookers also have congee settings. I just do it in a saucepan and let it cook all morning, letting it finish up in time for a late breakfast.
Once the porridge is at a thick, creamy consistency, add the sliced mushroom and let cook a few minute longer until mushrooms are warmed through. Remove from heat and ladle into bowl. Add chopped green onion, pickled bamboo shoot and soy sauce to taste. A bit of freshly ground black pepper is good too.... If you don't have pickled bamboo shoot, make it anyway. It's still delicious. This recipe makes 2 moderate servings or one generous one.