After being sick for a while, I finally felt better to continue with this blog. I decided to dedicate this past week’s posting to sickness.
In the Filipino culture, lugaw is a food directly connected to sickness. It’s also called juk in the Korean culture. You might also be familiar with the Chinese name of jook. In most cases, people refer to it as “congee” or “rice porridge”.
In Asian cultures, rice porridge was a way to feed as most mouths as possible with the least amount of rice. Don’t get me wrong; both the poor and the rich delighted in eating rice porridge. The rich added spices and meat with their congee. With many families cooking this food, it’s no wonder congee is a comfort food.
This is the Asian equivalent of chicken noodle soup. It’s an easily digestible food that is great for when you are sick.
The best thing I like about rice porridge is that it can transform old rice. Did you try to make rice and it ended up soggy and wet? Just make it into rice porridge! Did the rice come out hard and dry? Just make it into rice porridge! Do you have some leftover rice from takeout or from earlier in the week? Just make it into rice porridge!
Feel free to try my recipe. But I learned from my mom, and she didn’t give me any specific measurements or proportions… Just be one with the congee and wing it.
Gather you ingredients:
- Rice (Old, dry, or wet)
- Water (Not pictured)
- Salt (Optional, Not Pictured)
- Black pepper (Optional)
- Chicken bouillon (Optional)
- Garlic (Optional)
- Onion (Optional)
- Ginger (Optional)
- Lemon (Optional, Not Pictured)
- Green onion (Optional, Not Pictured)
- Chicaron- Fried pork rinds (Optional, Not Pictured)
- Vegetable Oil (Optional, Not Pictured)
Rice porridge is essentially rice and water. That’s all you really need to make “rice porridge”. So add any optional ingredients if you want more flavor (which I strongly suggest). In my recipe, I used all listed except salt and green onion. If you are making this for a sick friend, family member, or lover, remember to include plenty of Love.
I used about a fourth of an onion, a whole clove of garlic, and 3 knobs of ginger. Mince the onion, garlic, and ginger.
In any case, the smaller the pieces, the better. Whenever my grandma would cook this, I would always bite into a big chunk of ginger. It wasn’t the best tasting thing.
Heat up some vegetable oil and sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger. I would add some black pepper while sautéing.
Add the chicken bouillon, water, and rice. Mix it all up and bring it to a boil.
Add more water until the consistency is thicker. From my knowledge, the rice will need to absorb the water to expand and breakdown. Remember to occasionally stir the congee so the rice won’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
I like my congee at this consistency. If you compare this picture to the other two, there is evidence that this is an efficient use of rice.
Garnish your congee with a lemon slice and crunched up pieces of chicaron. I would have used the green onions to garnish as well, but I didn’t have any available at the time.
How do you like your rice porridge? I’ve tried jook with sweet potatoes and that delicious. Use this recipe to cook for others when they are sick or just cook it for yourself when you have spare rice. Enjoy and get well soon!