Wednesday, January 27, 2016

NEW RECIPE: Ginger Congee with Sweet-Chili and Ponzu Pork

Everyone has a dish they made or remember being made for them every time they got sick as a child. For my family, that was congee. My mom would make this traditional rice porridge for me and my sisters anytime we got sick. It was warming and simple in flavor, making it easy to stomach. The ginger inside of it also helped heal us with its antibiotic properties. 

This is still my go-to dish when I am sick, and since I was sick over the past weekend, I made congee for myself. It's incredibly simple to make, and can either be done over a stove or in a rice cooker (as I did). You can add whatever you want to congee; all that's required is getting the ratio of rice to water right.

A 1 to 8 ratio, cooked for 45 minutes, makes the perfect congee. Flavoring it with ginger gives it a great flavor as well as a great remedy for being sick. I served it with a meat that's great for when sick because of the marinade - more ginger, sweet chili (which helps to sweat out some of the sickness), and ponzu, a Japanese citrus that contributes vitamin C. The warm, creamy porridge and the dense but flavorful pork combine together for a warming, comforting dish. 

Recipe serves 4-6 people.

For the Congee:

8 cups stock or water
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 cup Jasmine or other rice
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
Chives/Green Onion and black pepper to garnish

For the Pork:
1 pound pork chops, trimmed and sliced into thin strips
1 1/2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce (Storebought, or make your own with water, cornstarch, sugar, diced chilies, rice wine vinegar, and ginger. Boil all together until you get a syrup or gel-like consistency.)
1 tablespoon ponzu
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced ginger


1. Combine all of the ingredients for the pork marinade and the pork together in a container or doubled-up plastic bag. Place in the fridge to marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 24 hours.

2. Mix together the rice, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, and garlic in a large pot or rice cooker. Add in the stock/water, then boil for 45 minutes. The porridge should have a thick consistency and support the weight of small objects (like stir-fried pork).

3. Add the pork strips to a frying pan on high heat and cook for 2-3 minutes. Place some strips on top of a bowl of the congee, and garnish with green onion/chives, black pepper, and soy sauce to taste.

Congee is incredibly simple to make, as can be seen with just 1 quick step to make the congee and just 2 to make the pork! It's simple in flavor, but all of the ingredients inside and outside - ginger, chili, garlic, onion - all contribute to healing when sick, and the warmth brings comfort to anyone feeling sick! 

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think and what you would change. If you make it at home, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! =) 

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