Monday, March 24, 2014

Comfort Food... Korean Rice Porridge with Clams

My oldest son was diagnosed with tonsillitis today. His throat began bothering him over the weekend when he swallowed and upon peering in, we knew something was not right. In Asian culture, rice porridge or congee is the best meal remedy when you're sick. I've been craving the Korean-style clam congee for a while and it was surely the perfect occasion to make it. The classic way is to include Korean chives, but I'm leaving that out tonight.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Rice Porridge with Clams

1-1/2 cups uncooked short-grain rice
8-10 dried anchovies (in frozen fish section of an Asian supermarket)
3 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 cup clam meat, fresh, frozen or canned, coarsely chopped
2 eggs, slightly beaten
toasted sesame seeds for garnish

1) Soak rice in a bowl of hot water for 30 minutes; drain and set aside. Meanwhile, remove and discard the head and gut portion of the anchovies and rinse their bodies to remove excess skin and debris. Place them into a pot of boiling water about 8 cups. Add 1 tsp. salt and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.

2) Heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat in a large pot until hot. Add the rice and continue to stir with a wooden spoon for 10 minutes to toast the kernels.

3) Remove the cooked fish, and skim the broth surface. Pour it into the rice pot. Give it a stir; bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often until the rice becomes very tender.

4) Add in the clams and simmer for 10 minutes while stirring constantly.

 5) Drizzle the egg onto the porridge, while stirring to blend in and cook. Cover for 5 minutes to let everything meld.

6) Serve with chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Add a little sesame oil on top if you wish. 

My son ate most of his bowl; he said the rice was soft and it was easy on his throat. I made extras for lunch tomorrow since he'll be home. I hope my big guy gets well soon!

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