Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pork Bone Congee with Black and Salted Eggs


With the abrupt change to cool weather and back-to-school interactions, we all had our share of sickness in this household. My second son just went back to school after being at home for three days, and I am still nursing on and off headaches and an underlying feeling of unwellness for two weeks. This calls for simple, uncomplicated comfort food such as congee rice porridge "jook"; it has always been my go-to meal to make when anyone is under the weather, and something most Chinese kids grew up on eating for the same reason or for breakfast. You can cook it plain with water and serve a few salty side dishes to eat with it, or concoct a variety of porridges adding meat, vegetables, mushrooms, herbs or eggs. I've always loved the classic flavour combination of pork, salted duck eggs and a thousand year old black eggs. A bit of saltiness, some creaminess from the contrasting egg duo and overall savoury meaty porridge makes for nourishing eats and a satiated feeling of being on the road to recovery.

I had read that if you want to make home-made porridge that is shiny, the secret is to use a variety of rice for their unique textures. A guideline to the rice and their ratios are…
Glutinous or sweet rice gives the porridge the stickiness texture. (1 part)
Jasmine medium grain rice gives the porridge “volume”. (2 part)
Japanese or Korean short grain rice gives the porridge the shiny and glossy texture. (1 part)



Pork Bone Congee with Black and Salted Eggs
Makes 6-8 servings

2 lbs. pork neck bones
2 slices ginger
2 cups rice (refer to rice ratio in above for glutinous/jasmine/
Japanese rice), rinsed 
12 cups water
2 salted duck eggs, cooked in boiling water for 15 minutes
2 thousand-year old eggs
1 green onion, finely chopped
ground white pepper, salt & sesame oil to taste

After rinsing rise, soak the rice with water to cover for one hour if you have the time. If you don’t, don't bother and skip this step. 

Bring a pot of water to a boil; add a tsp. of salt and two slices of ginger. Add the pork neck bones. Bring the water back to a boil for two to three minutes, then drain it over a strainer. Rinse the bones under cold running water and wash between the crevices to rid gelatinous fat and any grit. Discard the ginger slices. Rinse the pot, add water and bring it back to a boil with the blanched bones. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low to cook for 1-1/2 hours.



Drain rice, then add in pot and cook under medium-low heat undisturbed. TIP: Having the heat on to high or stirring the pot too early will result in rice sticking to the bottom and burning. Meanwhile, prepare the eggs. Cut the thousand-year old egg in half, then quarters. Set aside. Cut the salted duck eggs carefully to remove the cooked yolks and place into a bowl, and cut the egg white into small pieces. TIP: The egg yolks does not need to be cooked again, and will be eaten served on the congee. 



After 1/2 hour give the rice a stir and add the chopped eggs. Stir well to incorporate and let cook on a simmer for another twenty minutes.




When the porridge is done, add salt, and sesame oil to taste. You can leave the meat on the bones and add those to your serving bowl, or pick out the meat and top it on the porridge which is easier to eat for the kids!








At the table, set ground white pepper, sliced green onions, shredded ginger, preserved spicy radish and the salted duck yolks to serve yourself. Here's to getting better!!!


Give this porridge a try with the combo of three rice-- you will see and taste the difference and never make rice porridge any other way again!  *(*´∀`*)☆



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