The sky was bright, and the morning rays of sunlight were streaming through the large windows. I couldn’t believe that it was morning. I turned over and pulled my warm covers over my head hoping it would swallow me up. Then I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was my sister. I groaned and ever slowly shifted down the bed till I finally sat up. If it wasn’t for her I doubt I would ever be able to get up. Mornings are always a huge struggle for me.
My sister excitedly beckoned me to the kitchen. She was pulling utensils, pans, spoons, rice, soy sauce, meat out of the fridge. What in the world was she doing? I rubbed my eyes vigorously hoping to bring myself out from the rim of unconsciousness. I grudgingly sat on the high chairs next to our table, almost willing myself not to fall asleep there. Her swift, graceful movements – reaching up in the cupboards, the fridge, the drawers all seemed fuzzy and blurry.
Then it hit me. My eyes flew open “Isn’t it Tuesday today?” We had planned to make a meal for a friend of ours who wasn’t feeling well on Tuesday!
I quickly stood up, ignoring my weariness. It was definitely time to get to work. A cup of rice, a handful of scallops, a dash of soy sauce, a sprinkle of pepper…..a taste, some more salt, another taste, a little more soy sauce… then the words “perfect” rang out.
A small pot of warm rice porridge was finally done.
It still wasn’t perfect yet -a few more finishing touches was still needed. I scooped out a small cupful of spicy kimchi, carefully dug out some pickled ginger and arranged few slices of deep-green cucumber. Now this was perfect.
I stood back to watch my sister skillfully snap pictures with her Canon camera. It looked so beautiful. I wished I could capture this moment of pure satisfaction. In fact, I had already completely forgotten about my tiredness.
I scooped up the “congee” into a microwave box and off we headed for school. A quick exchange, a surprised look, a geniuine smile, a few words of concern, a hug and mission accomplished.
Adapted from noobcook
Ingredients – Serves 2
How to Make:
- 3/4 cup rice
- 6 cups of water (we added 3 cups more afterwards)
- 1 tbsp dried shrimp
- 7 small pieces dried scallops
- 1 tbsp dried anchovies
- Thinly sliced pork (you can use ground pork as well!) – add however much you want
- 2 slices ginger
- Salt and Pepper for seasoning (Optional: soy sauce)
- Garnish: Kimchi, Toasted Peanuts, Coriander, Spring Onions
- Drizzle of GF soy sauce
- Place dried shrimp and dried scallops in a bowl. Pour hot water over it. Let it soak until the scallops become soft. Separate the scallops into thin strands.
- In another bowl, place pork and season with pepper and soy sauce. Set aside.
- Wash the rice several times. Let it soak for 15 minutes to soften the rice.
- In a large pot, add in the rice, ginger, anchovies.
- Add in the dried shrimp, dried scallops. Measure out the water you soaked the dried scallop and shrimp in, and top the rest with water to make it exactly 6 cups.
- Bring it to a boil. Then remove the lid, reduce heat and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes.
- Give it a stir occasionally to ensure the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom. Continue to add water if you see that the congee is getting thicker again. (we prefer ours more watery, we added about another 3 cups in).
- Cook until you get the consistency you want.
- Then take out the anchovies. Add in the pork. Let it cook for a few minutes. Since ours was really thinly sliced pork, we only needed 1 minute.
- Season the porridge with salt and pepper.
- Serve the congee hot with condiments of choice.
Optional: We served it with kimchi and pickled ginger. Other great toppings are spring onions, ginger, toasted peanuts, century egg.