Friday, February 5, 2010

Shitake Mushroom and Pickled Bamboo Shoot Congee

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)
soy sauce

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.


Kathy Hester (GeekyPoet) February 5, 2010 at 12:42 PM  

Yum. I'll have to try this in the slow cooker. I have a bunch of healthy slow cooker recipes that I post on my blog if you're interested. (

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