Create internal harmony with this recipe for Rice Congee!
Congee literally means rice-water. Whatever name you give it, rice porridge has been the foundation of nutritional healing since humans first started playing with fire and cooking. Congee tends to be warming and supports the center of the body, creating stability and centeredness.
A grain based diet is neutral in terms of temperature. This type of diet can be used to cool or warm the body depending on the mode of preparation and accompanying ingredients. The taste is on the sweet side and supports the earth element (spleen and stomach systems), which allows the yang energy to rise and excess dampness to drain.
For this dish, I chose to use short grain brown rice since it is the most neutral and balanced whole grain. The vegetable scallions used are pungent and spicy in flavor. They are heating and yang inducing in quality. The other vegetables used are leafy greens (kale, dandelion or mustard greens). They are usually bitter and sweet as well as cooling. They also alleviate heat conditions and enhance digestion. Lastly, I decided to use shiitake mushrooms to add a savory flavor and to enhance the sweet, cooling qualities. This dish contains numerous nutrients and many essential ingredients for a long, healthy life.
Surya’s Rice Congee
1 cup short grain brown rice
6 cups shiitake mushroom or vegetable stock
thinly sliced green onion
wilted greens – (kale, mustard, dandelion)
1. Rinse the rice: place the rice in a large strainer and rinse it under cool water. The water running through the rice will look milky at first but it will eventually become clearer. It’s fine if there’s still some haze in the water.
2. Combine the rice and cooking liquid in a 4 quart saucepan. If you’re using dried shiitake mushrooms, slice and add them to the pot now.
3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and partially cover.
4. Continue simmering for about 1 1/2 hours. Stir the congee occasionally during cooking. This will make it more creamy. If the congee is getting a little stiff or if you’d like a looser congee, add more cooking liquid. The congee is ready when the rice is as soft and thick as you prefer.
5. Serve the congee: Ladle into individual bowls and finish with the garnish options above.