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. The Guilty Carnivore

    Congee is one of my favorite winter comfort foods, though growing up we called it cho, and it was made with shredded chicken (or sometimes duck if we were lucky). Topped with cilantro, thinly sliced onions, a few tears of basil, a snipped thai chili, a dash of fish sauce, and cracked black pepper. So good, and wakes you right up in the morning if you’re sick (or hungover).

    Full disclosure in regards to that awesome menu from your friend’s site: in college, after a night of carousing, I did indeed “fuck a bullfrog” and it really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

  2. LunaPierCook

    BRAVO!!! 🙂 Once again, all that natural TV talent comes through!

    Oh, right, there’s something about beef porri … er, rice cong … um … what was … where’d that go …

  3. caitlyn

    I loooooooooooove jook with preserved duck eggs! I’ve never actually made jook myself, though my rice cooker is capable of making it so perhaps I’ll test out that feature someday soon. Do the eggs have to be cooked for 40 minutes, or is it okay to add it at the very end to heat it just prior to eating?

  4. Nate 2.0

    Great little segment! You do better in this setting than cooking live on AM tv. I especially liked the little behind the camera look at your “studio” – a $3 foam board on top of your living room ottoman with only 2 minutes to shoot before your kids tear into the dish. Amazing.

    I wish I had as much natural lighting at dinner hour, but here the evening light is either too blue or non-existent.

    I’m so jealous of your teaching kitchen.

  5. kate

    HAHAHA …i’ve had my experience with Chinglish as well.I’ live in Hong Kong most of the time and happen to travel across the border quite often. I ‘m away frm home now and your congee has got me all nostalgic. Yes congee is on every breakfast menu and one of my most fav. – without the egg i.e. 🙂
    The Yao tiew looks fab as well … and the photography is top notch. U are extremely talented. Wish we had more of you in HK.
    All the classes there are in Cantonese and i cant find any in English. If they teach then u have to wait for a month or so till they can fin enough English students. So if u are ever planning to do a special back home let me know 🙂

  6. leanne

    Mmm… I love congee! When my grandma was still alive, Thanksgiving breakast always included turkey congee, made with leftover turkey and a little gravy to flavor the rice.

    You know, I’ve always enjoyed congee with dim sum, and I just now realized that I must have been eating preserve eggs… I thought they were some funny type of mushroom or something. Guess I like them!

  7. Marvin

    That really was a well-produced piece! You’re on your way! When you do get your own cooking show, would you want something on PBS, or on the Food Network, or anywhere on TV?

    And is that your mom in the miniskirt in that picture?!! Wow. And I mean that in the most respectable way;)

  8. Pepy

    Ohh this looks so good
    This was my breakfast while I was in Indonesia, but we use chicken instead of beef. Can you share with me, jaden?

  9. Barb

    Congee was my daughter’s first real food – I love it as a baby food! I made it a little differently, having learned from a Korean neighbor, lol. 1/2 cup of rice, 6 cups of water or chicken broth or a combination. When she got old enough I’d toss in a piece of chicken or two (or three, since I was eating it, too). Occasionally I even added some dried lemons that a Middle Eastern friend gave me. I haven’t made this in years, and have never made it with beef, so I’m glad for the reminder.

    By the way, I’d been having trouble with some new rice I’d picked up from my local Oriental Market – it was different jasmine rice than the usual 25 lb. bag I get – and I followed your directions and finally got some perfectly cooked rice!! Thanks so much. 😀

  10. Kat

    I’ve never tried pitan (those eggs) but I know of people who just love them. What a great dish and nice way to warm up too. Will check out your video on You Tube 🙂

  11. tigerfish

    Just give me beef congee without the century eggs. Congee is my all-time fav but all those without century eggs. I could just do with a raw egg at the bottom of the bowl, spooned over with hot warm congee to cook the egg while I eat the congee and egg 🙂

    Hahhaa….today I learn a new word- that “F-U-C-K” is a method of cooking!!! BUAHAHAHAHH! Does it mean For-Ur-Coo-King, only?

  12. The Big Guy

    Thanks for the mention, Jaden! (Woo hoo! I is famous now!)
    I always get a kick out of the Chinglish menus here in China, as I’m sure the local waitstaff get a charge of my poor attempts at using Chinese to order food.
    Some of the folks I work (and drink) with are trying to educate me… a lost cause I’m afraid. I know enough to order some basic food and drink items and be polite to the staff, but when I branch out, I think I butcher the language so badly that eventually I have to go back to tried-and-true method of pointing at the menu. Oh well… By this time next year I should be fairly “civilized”…

    An I tried the Century Egg one time when I was here…
    It wasn’t too bad…but I won’t go out of my way to order it again… 😉

    Thanks again for the mention… I’m still working on my Food Porn… Your pictures are an inspiration to me…

    Take care-


  13. Melinda

    Loved the Jaden clip. The boys all around you while you are trying to photograph their dinner is funny. I think Lynn (cookiebakerlynn) said that her five year old wanted to know if she was going to take a picture of his dinner first, I think it was a hot dog! Our children will have a new food phobia disorder when they grow up- foblowphobia!
    The congee looks good, I would prefer your husbands/ sans smelly eggs.

  14. Single Guy Chef

    You’re such a good Chinese mom! That jook looks so good. Hope your kids appreciate it! BTW, I love “pai dahn.” My favorite too! Do you ever put raw peanuts into your jook? I love to do that and when you cook it with the rice, it gets soft and adds another texture.

    Great feature on PBS. You’re so natural on TV!

    And what can I say about the menu in China? Too funny.

  15. Neece

    Ok, the egg thing.. that just wouldn’t happen (I’m too squeamish), but the congee I could try. You make everything look delicious, Jaden! I want that negative calorie chocolate cake! Miraculous! LOL
    The video is GREAT! You look wonderful, you’re funny and witty and charming! If I weren’t already addicted to your blog, I would be now! And if I lived in your area, I’d take your cooking classes in a heartbeat.
    Oh, and the menu in China? Hilarious!

  16. Jen Yu

    I grew up eating congee for brekkie when all of my friends ate waffles, pancakes, and bacon. It’s comfort food. I love the way you prepare your congee! I don’t mind the 1000 year duck eggs, but… not my favorite. What can you expect from an ABC? Love your site, Jaden. You make me laugh.

  17. Beerme

    Really fine PBS video!
    Baby, you are going places!
    For the record, I love your blog, humor and writing style, as well as your adventurous, hedonistic approach to food. I just hope you keep the blog after you get your own nationally syndicated cooking show and hordes of slavering fans! If not, I’ll be disappointed… the interaction can’t be replicated, you know!

    BTW, though wine has a long tradition of enhancing the dining experience, beer and food pairing is a burgeoning art/enjoyment. Ever think of doing some menus pairing craft-brewed beers with some of your dishes?

  18. Katie

    I think if we’re introduced to something as children it becomes part of what we eat…which is why I feel so sad fo children allowed to grow-up with chicken McNuggets and nothing else.
    Love the menu…some very interesting dishes…
    I’m coming back for the show!

  19. StickyGooeyCreamyChewy

    Wow! That PBS segment was great! You definitely came off like a star. (said with true sincerity) And what about that stunning and articulate woman in green who said such nice things about you? You need to give her a raise! (said with tongue firmly in cheek)

  20. jamie anne

    oh Jaden!!! the show was great!!! you’re so kyuuuuuuuut!!!
    and hey, first glimpse of the hubby!!! he’s a stud hahaha!
    i love chinglish translated movies… they’re hilarious as well!

  21. SteamyKitchen

    Beerme: This email as my witness (and proof) if I ever let fame deter me from this blog, I give you full permission to whack me on the side of the head with a floppy, dead fish.

  22. Carol

    Jaden, I loved the PBS, I loved that it was shot in your home, I loved that it showed your family and I loved all those B&W photos of you as a kid. I TOTALLY LOVED IT because it was personal and sweet. and I loved your mom’s afro too!
    The century egg congee looks so creamy and yummy, just the thing I’d love to have for brekky right now!
    It’s so wonderful that you are going to be doing cooking classes with RM – wished I could be there, I’d have a Ball of a time!

  23. eliza

    i love the show! i don’t know if our PBS station will air it. you’re such a down-to-earth woman by the way you’re replying back to each comments in your blog, i love you! keep it this way and i know you’ll have very satisfied readers and fans. your mom looked very sexy and i could see where you get your look 🙂 *i’m not flirting with you, swear!*

  24. Zenchef

    Waiterrrr! I’ll have a fuck a bullfrog and a bad and fragant sea cucumber please! hahahahaha
    Wow, the PBS show is awesome. We NEED YOU on television! You sexy, funny and delicious. Rachel Ray must be ousted and replaced by you. Prime time TV needs some ‘fresh cream squirt’ darling!

  25. jozet at Halushki

    WONDERFUL! You have TV charisma worth a million bucks! You so need a TV cooking show!

    The thousand year eggs…I think that I read about them in an Amy Tan book? I think…I think I’d try one. I like some pretty stinky cheeses.

    Okay, I might need to have a few beers first.

    Gonna try some congee for my babe-kins.

  26. SteamyKitchen

    I’ve never tried with beef ribs – but I’m sure they will work just fine. The black bean sauce is amazing and really goes with anything!

  27. rxgator

    Nope. Can’t do the preserved egg. There’s a reason they used them as a challenge on Fear Factor. When I was a kid and Mom made jook she would set aside some of the jook before she added the preserved duck eggs.
    However, Mom would beat about 3 or 4 eggs together and swirl them into the jook when it was almost done just to firm up the jook and plus you got the cool eggdrop swirlie look.
    Congrats on the segment on PBS. Plus you are doing the people of West Central Florida a world of good by educating them about Asian cuisine.

  28. Pingback: Delicious Beef Congee!

  29. Passionate Eater

    You are such an inspiration Jaden! I would be your #1 fan if you ever got a cooking show (I would have Jaden wallpaper, icons, and a fan site)! I love how you introduce Americans to Asian cooking to Americans. Is there anything I can do to expedite the process for you to get on FoodNetwork? I’ll sign a petition, and do anything!

    And thanks for sharing those pix of your family. You should have seen my parents (one of the few Asian families in Arizona–but your family was probably the ONLY Asian family in Nebraska).

  30. Rose

    Jaden, you really know how to get people hooked to your talent. Nobody, and I say nobody would have been able to do it better than you. See you on my TV really soon.

  31. Jaded

    fuck to frying the small yellow fish!! Hahahahaha! That’s great 😀 Doesn’t sound like something I would eat but good for laughs.

    That congee looks so damn good. I might have to go get some for lunch today!

    I love the reaction on the host’s face when you tell him he’s whisking the wrong way.

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