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Our Food Writer Allison from Seek Satiation is back for the second installment of this summer's YBC Ingredient Challenge! Hope you enjoy, and if you give it a try, or have anything to add, please comment below!
Welcome back to the YBC Ingredient Challenge! You surely saw the Honey Chai Nice Cream from last month. Well, it's July, and I picked three more mystery ingredients from my bag! Lucky for me, I lucked out again with my picks!
For June's recipe, I ended up picking two sweets and a savory - Vega One Vanilla Chai All - In - One Shake Mix, honey, and sea salt - which all complemented each other well. On this go 'round, I ended up picking out two savories and a neutral: black garlic, Bragg's Organic Sprinkle 24 Herbs & Spices Seasoning, and Whole Foods Organic Long-Grain White Rice.
On the IG Stories video I posted of the grand reveals, I waxed on about making a savory rice pudding...if I had the motivation. Ha! However, as I thought more about it, visions of congee popped into my head. Congee, a traditional type of rice porridge served in many Asian countries, is a very simple base dish to make. It is often served for breakfast, but can be eaten any time of the day you damn well please. This dish is popular enough for many NYC restaurants to serve it, including the aptly-named Congee Village in the Lower East Side.
Many cultures have their traditional rice dishes; growing up, I used to devour my Nana Fracaro's risotto, and it's still an Italian dish I hold near and dear to me. Much like risotto, the process of making congee is the "low & slow" method: I hope you're good on your feet, because you will be on 'em for a while! With risotto, there is more active time in front of the stove; you will be standing there for at least 45 minutes constantly stirring rice and adding liquid if you want to do it right. Congee allows you to step away from the stove a little more often, though the total cook time for the best congee consistency runs at about 75 - 90 minutes.
I used the method from The Kitchn - an always-reliable source for me - to concoct it, and I am so pleased with the results! Make this congee as your dietary needs dictate! The Kitchn's recipe suggests adding chicken bones for added richness. Nix the animal bones and use vegetable stock for a vegan-friendly version. Add in the meat and bones if you crave it. This is so adaptable!
Tag #YBCEats if you try your hand at this recipe and post it on social media, because we'd love to see your congee! Be sure to come back in August for the final recipe, as well! I'm making the last recipe with whatever is left in the bag - no, I haven't peeked - so things could get VERY interesting. 😉
Black Garlic Congee
- Black Garlic
- Bragg's Organic Sprinkle 24 Herbs & Spices Seasoning
- Fermented / pickled vegetables (I used red cabbage sauerkraut)
- Sesame oil
- Six-minute boiled egg
- Sliced green onions
- Soy sauce
- If you are unable to find black garlic, regular garlic can be used. Reduce the amount added to the congee to 2 cloves, as black garlic is sweeter and not as pungent as regular garlic.
1.) Rinse rice in a large fine-mesh colander until the water runs clear.
3.) Simmer and occasionally stir for at least 60 minutes or up to 90 minutes - I found that an hour and 15 minutes was my sweet spot - and make sure the rice sticks to the bottom of the pan as little as possible. (But when it happens, don't worry. It's inevitable. Ha!) If the mixture gets too thick, as 1/4 cup of water or stock until it is a desirable consistency.
4.) Serve into bowls and garnish as desired! If saving congee for meal prep, it will stay in the fridge for up to 5 days.