Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Good old bowl of rice congee


A bowl of comforting porridge or congee brought me back childhood memories. Every weekday during the school term, I was greeted by a bowl of porridge. Grandma said it was easier to cook and quick for me to swallow hence, her choice of lunch was porridge EVERY DAY!!

After having porridge for 8-10 years of my primary/secondary school life + as a toddler, I was quite turned off by porridge for a while. I guess as a child, I really did like variety in my food! I looked forward to school holidays as that means grandma and I can track down to the nearby coffeeshop for a bowl of dumpling noodles soup.

These days however, I still get the occasional cravings for a bowl of congee/porridge. My favorite would be lean pork/chicken with century egg. One can easily guess that I'm a true blue cantonese girl.

A good bowl of porridge/congee must be accompanied by the sinful fried you tiao/"yow char gua" (Or fried dough stick) of course. ;p The name is pretty morbid as it translate from Cantonese to English literally to "Oil Fried Ghost".

Wikepedia says....

The Cantonese name yau ja gwai and Hokkien name u char kway literally mean oil-fried ghost and, according to tradition, is an act of protest against Song Dynasty official Qin Hui (秦檜, Cantonese: Chun Kui), who is said to have orchestrated the plot to frame the general Yue Fei (岳飛), an icon of patriotism in Chinese culture. It is said that the food, originally taking the form of two deep-fried human-shaped dough but later evolved two doughs joining in the middle, represents Qin Hui and his wife, both having a hand in collaborating with the enemy to bring about the great general's demise. Thus the youtiao is deep fried and eaten as if done to the traitorous couple. In keeping with the legend, youtiao are often made as two foot-long rolls of dough joined along the middle, with one roll representing the husband and the other the wife.[1]

That's interesting! I always thought that was created due to the 7th month of the lunar calender where the Ghosts come back to visit their land bound families.... hmmm..

Speaking of which, I have half a packet of fried dough sticks left in my freezer!!! ANY ideas on how to use it up? I have made salad with it previously too!


Rice Congee (cantonese style)
1 cup of rice (I used basmati but jasmine is good too)
3-4 cups of water
1 piece of dried scallop
100 grams of marinated mince
1 century duck egg

2 fried dough stick toasted to crisp perfection

Wash rice and bowl with water and dried scallop. Simmer for 5-10 mins, adding warm water when needed. 20 minutes into cooking time, use a tablespoon to shape mince in meatball shape and drop it into the porridge. Add diced century duck egg. Continue to stir and simmer for another 15 minutes or so.

13 comments:

Celine said...

I like that porridge too. I'll normally get the century duck egg porridge at the hawker stall. I used to cook plain porridge to eat with some other simple dishes like fried eggs, stir-fry green vegetables and deep fried fish. They are a good combination.

yammylicious said...

oil fried ghost, good one =)!
i heart porridge with dried scallop..

InspiredMumof2 said...

Yummy, my little girl loves this duck egg (pei dan jok) too. Light, easy to eat like you said and easy to cook too :-)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

i know wat u can make!..char leung!!

tigerfish said...

I don't like century eggs but am thinking of cooking congee one of these days with dried scallops too! Cos I loveeee porridge :D

SteamyKitchen said...

now that's heaven in a bowl, esp with the donuts!

Dhanggit said...

all the goodness of your kitchen in one bowl!!!i would love to taste it!!

teckiee said...

reminds me of my kindergarden days. i used to go for seconds when the kitchen ladies serve peanut porridge. and btw... saw for other nice.. you read anne rice?

daphne said...

Celine- oh! Don't forget the braised peanuts!!

yammlicious- it just adds a rich flavour to it doesn't it?

inspiredmumof2-hehhe, princess certainly knows her food.

joe-wah! u have too much faith in me.. hahaha.. i hv to figure out how to make the CCF!

tigerfish-century eggs is certainly an acquired taste! I also heard that porridge is good for health?

steamykitchen- hahhaa..

dhanggit- *hands u a bowl*

teckiee- yum yum peanut porridge! oh oh! Peanut and dried mussels! Now that gave me another idea.. Anne rice..?

Big Boys Oven said...

lovely congee! must be gorgeous with dry scallops!

singairishgirl said...

Yum... my favourite is minced meat/ century egg porridge too, and I'm not Cantonese. Hahaha.

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Shu Han said...

ah, comfort food (: this looks so yummy!

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