Winter is now upon us, which means it is congee season in my household. If you haven’t heard of congee before, it is a Chinese rice porridge, usually made with leftover rice. Growing up, my grandparents made congee almost every weekend in the wintertime, and we could expect a big batch after major holidays, when they would make the congee using leftover Turkey meat and bones.
Since we don’t usually have leftover rice and are primarily plant based in our home, I like to use half uncooked rice and half lentils to bulk up the protein and nutrients. I also like to add shiitake mushrooms to really give the congee a depth of flavour.
This congee can easily be made in an instant pot the day of or a slow cooker the night before so that it’s ready for breakfast/lunch.
If you haven’t seen my last video on how I roast a Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin, check it out here (https://bit.ly/34it2mq). I repurposed the pumpkin by adding it to this congee recipe to add extra creaminess and nutrients. I also love topping it with Chinese fried donut, sauteed snow pea shoots and peanuts. Let me know in the comments below what your favourite toppings are!
Now set forth and be savvy!
~makes about 8 large servings
- 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice (or whatever rice you have)
- 1 cup red lentils
- 12 cups water
- 1 2-inch nub of ginger
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp mushroom powder
- 2 cup pumpkin puree
- Salt to taste
- Re-hydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms by placing them in a bowl and cover with hot water – set aside for 30 minutes
- Place 1 cup of uncooked jasmine rice in your instant pot container and rinse 3 times until the water runs clear. To rinse, fill the pot with some water so that you have room to massage the rice for 30 seconds, pour out the water (or reserve the water to water your outdoor plants) and repeat 2 more times.
- Once the rice is washed, place the container into the instant pot machine and add the water, red lentils, ginger, soy sauce and mushroom powder
- Slice up the shiitake mushrooms and add to the pot along with the water
- Place the lid on and ensure that the nob at the top is set to “sealing” and not “venting”
- Turn the instant pot on and select the “Porridge” function, increase the time to 30 minutes
- Once the instant pot is done cooking, allow the pressure to decrease naturally – you will know that there is no more pressure once the red nob has descended. You can also turn the nob to “venting” to ensure there is no more pressure.
- Remove the lid and stir the congee – it can be served immediately
- Top with your favourite toppings!