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