Beef Congee (Rice Porridge) + PBS Show


Every morning in China, we would wake up to a smorgasbord of a breakfast buffet. The hotels and cruise ships had anticipated every kind of craving – from “orange sauce” to “dessicated potatoes” , Chinglish for orange juice and hash browns. But when in China, eat like the Chinese. Plus, “stewed encased meat surprise” (sausage) and “fresh cream squirt” (I have NO IDEA what that really was) just didn’t sound too appetizing…(continued)….

Speaking of Chinglish, my friend Listen2UncleJay is in China right now – his website is hilarious – full of funky Chinglish menus. Want to eat here?

Yum. love that Fresh Fucked Fish Chin. It’s got a nice ring to it. And be careful. It’s DOUBLE SPICY.

Anyways, back to the congee, which is rice porridge or “jook” in Chinese. Congee is eaten for breakfast, lunch and also makes a great midnight snack.

My favorite congee also includes “hundred year egg” – YEAH – I know. Sounds just as appetizing as “Bad and Fragrant Sea Cucumber.” But really, the preserved duck egg is something I’ve enjoyed since I was a little girl. If I hadn’t tried preserved duck egg before, I don’t know if I could pull a Andrew Zimmern and just pop it in my mouth. The egg is preserved in clay, ash, salt and lime for several weeks to several months. The egg white becomes gelatinous, like the texture of jello with a very little taste. The egg yolk, soft, creamy and smooth like a stinky cheese. Why do I like this? I don’t know. I think I was brainwashed at some point in my early childhood to enjoy eating all things stinky. Or it could have been years of eating chipped lead paint off the windowsill. Or snorting asbestos in the attic. Really, any of those things could have affected the taste center of my brain.

You can find these eggs at your Chinese grocer. They usually come packaged in a 6-pack, each egg wrapped individually. Unwrap an egg, crack and peel away the shell. Cut each egg into 8 wedges or smaller. Add to the congee to simmer.

Another wonderful side dish for congee is Chinese Donuts, or Yao Tiew.

I made a pot with the eggs (for me) and one without (for husband.) Here is Beef Congee with Thousand Year Egg:

Beef Congee (Rice Porridge)

Serves 8-10

1 cup raw rice
½ lb ground beef (marinated in 1 tbl soy sauce, 1 tbl cornstarch, ½ tsp Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbl dried shrimp (optional)
10 c water or stock
1 ½ tbl soy sauce + ground pepper to taste
Toppings: minced scallions, cilantro, deep fried wonton skins, shredded ginger or Thousand Year Egg (optional of course)

1. Wash rice, drain and repeat 3 more times until the water runs clear. Marinate the beef for 10 minutes. Soak dried shrimp in ½ c hot water and drain.

2. Heat large stockpot over med-high heat with 2T cooking oil. When hot, add ground beef, dried shrimp and garlic. Fry until ground beef is browned. Add the stock or water, soy sauce and rice. Turn heat to high. When boiling, immediately turn heat to low.  (If you want Thousand Year Egg – add it now) Simmer 40 min. Taste and adjust with more soy and pepper if needed.


Steamy Kitchen on PBS!

Well I finally got this posted on YouTube. The volume is a little low – I’m working on that. But just crank up the volume of your speakers. I am so excited to share this with you! It’s a beautiful piece, really capturing my personality  – I even GIGGLE in the show!! Yes, GIGGLE and BLUSH! This was filmed back in August and it aired a couple of weeks ago. I love love love it! Thank you WEDU PBS, Jack, Jen, Alex, Matt, Mark & Tom!!  What do you think? Don’t you love the PORN music?!

Here’s the superstar of the show – hot, sexy Xiao Long Bao recipe

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Comments 75

  1. wmw

    Ahh…another tube appearance. And yes, I did love the porn music! LOL…I really wanna relocated myself and be your neighbour. Looking at your lovely living room, I probably might need to save for a 20 years or so for a house of that size next to yours (unless you’re renting out the garage?) ! ;o) Don’t forget to pass an autograph made out to me to RM when you see her! Hahaha….

    BTW, I loved jook with pei dan and deep fried crispy intestines!!! Yumz!

  2. wmw

    Oops, sorry for the typo, sleepy…”relocate” not relocated…omit the “a” before 20 years…Grrrr… ;o)

  3. Kiriel

    I find that congee is one of the grandest tests of a chinese restaurant, as it can be either bland and boring, or delicate, sublime and superb. Your recipe sounds scrumptious, thank you for sharing it with us!

  4. Lyrical Lemongrass

    I was sitting in my dull and somber accounting office doing my dull and somber accounting work and decided I should look at your blog during office hours. One look at the “menu” and I BURST OUT LAUGHING!!!! OMG. OMG. Everyone thought I had lost it. I still have tears in my eyes.

  5. Tanya

    Hi, Jaden,
    One of my new years resolutions (for 2007, eep!) was to make Chinese food of just about any type– stir fried veggies with soy sauce over rice not counting, as I make it all the time and doubt it has any sort of authenticity. Do you have any suggestions for a relatively easy place to start? I’m willing to spend some time on it, but am not very skilled at doing fussier things like crimping dumplings. Ideally, I’d like a main course of any kind, a veggie dish, and some sort of appetizer. (While I’m challenging myself, I might as well go all out, neh?)

  6. Donna Steinhorn

    Made the congee tonight (I was already cooking for Thanksgiving, so what’s one more dish? 😉 Turned out delicious. But what do I do with all the leftover dried shrimp?

  7. SteamyKitchen

    AP- The congee will thicken naturally with the starch in rice. But I cover but prop the lid up with a chopstick wedged btw lid and pot.

    Donna- There are so many uses for dried shrimp! Add a few to any stir fry. Soak first in hot water, drain and fry with your garlic/ginger. You can also make your own homemade chili sambal – recipe coming soon!

  8. k_d

    My Western gwai-lo (Italian-American!) husband insists on plain jook when he feels ill. After surgery, after a round of stomach “flu” (we all know it’s not really flu, just another virus or food poisoning), any time he feels a little woozy, he insists on a bowl of plain jook. We use jasmine rice, so he always gets jasmine jook, but he just swears by it as the best thing to recover from gastrointestinal illnesses. When he uses it this way (medicinally), he never adds anything to it. Maybe a little salt, but that’s it. Otherwise, we love the loaded-up versions. Now.. 1000 yr egg? Maybe not. But pork sung? Yes! and soy sauce cucumber pickle? Yes! And those stinky chili bamboo shoot? Yes!

  9. scrapper al

    My friend’s daughter had a sore throat and no appetite so I sent her a link to this recipe. I told her it was Chinese comfort food. Her whole family loved it, especially her Taiwanese husband.

  10. That Girl Tam

    First, I LOVE your site and this is my first time commenting. I saw the jook and almost GAGGED! HAHAHA…

    I’m half Chinese and had a BAD jook experience as a child and I haven’t touched the stuff EVER SINCE…but, my children can’t get enough rice and I’m betting they’d probably LOVE this…although I think I’d rather use chicken. Would I prepare it pretty much the same way??

    And yes, Fresh Fucked Fish Chin DOES have a ring to it! HAHAHAHA

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  17. Lisa Pitt

    Haha, I love the thousand year old egg too, but the way you described made me gross out a little. I don’t think there’s any way I’d be able to coerce my husband or son to try it.

  18. Laura

    After our Thanksgiving meal, I was looking for a good jook recipe and found this. My grandfather always made this for us, but I never hung out in the kitchen long enough to learn how to do it. I happen to love thousand year old egg but haven’t been able to coerce/bribe my kids into trying it. I should have started feeding it to them when they were younger and didn’t have a say in the food I served. Thanks.

  19. Tina

    I made Beef Congee last night and I am so glad I got the right taste… Only I used meat instead of beef because my mother does not like beef. Anyway, I cooked one big casserole and it was empty right away. I am planning to cook again this weekend.

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  21. Julie

    Can I store this porridge? If so, for how long? I am trying to find freezer friendly recipes. Thank you!

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