Sunday, January 14, 2018

Savory Taiwanese Congee/Rice Porridge (Giam Mue)

Taiwanese congee or rice porridge is usually cooked plain (just rice and water) or with some diced sweet potato, but another traditional version called "Giam Mue" (translated as "salty" rice porridge) includes savory ingredients like shiitake mushrooms, tiny dried shrimp, celery, fried shallots, and ginger. My mom makes a delicious version, but since I don't have her exact recipe, this is my take on it. I've gone off the rez a bit by adding ground pork but, hey, everything's better with pork, right?


Congee served with a side of Taiwanese dried radish and scallion omelette (Tsai-bo Nung) http://thegrubfiles.blogspot.com/2011/10/taiwanese-style-omelette-with-dried.html 

Ingredients:
2 cups rice (Calrose is best)
16 cups of water
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. hondashi (optional)

1 tbsp. extra small dried shrimp (He Bi)

5 dried shiitake mushrooms
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 cup fried shallots
2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
2 ribs celery, cut into small dice
3 scallions, diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (including some of the stems)
2 tsp. white pepper
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice wine
1 tbsp. sesame oil

Yiu Tiao (Chinese donuts), optional for garnish

Chopped cilantro and scallions for garnish

1. Combine the rice, water, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. of hondashi in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 1 hour until the porridge is very thick, but not pasty (add additional water if needed).


2. In the meantime, place the dried shiitakes and shrimp into a medium bowl and cover with hot water. Let sit for about 20-30 minutes until softened. Once softened, dice the mushroom caps (discard the stems) and finely chop the shrimp; set aside.


3. Heat a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the ground pork (no need to add oil to the pan first) and break up with a potato masher. Once the pork is about halfway cooked through, add the chopped dried shrimp, diced shiitakes, fried shallots, ginger, celery, scallions, cilantro, white pepper, soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil. Stir-fry for 30 seconds or until the pork is cooked through.


3. Add the pork mixture to the rice porridge and stir well to combine. Add an additional 2 tsp. of kosher salt to the porridge, or according to your taste. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes, covered.


4. Ladle the hot congee into individual serving bowls and garnish with sliced yiu tiao pieces, scallions and/or cilantro.



Chopped cilantro, scallion, celery, ginger, small rehydrated dried shrimp and shiitake mushrooms. 


Cook the rice in 16 cups of water seasoned with 2 tsp. kosher salt and 1 tsp. hondashi (optional) until it reaches a porridge-like consistency (about 1 hour).

Rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, fried shallots/red onion (available in most Asian markets), 
and white pepper.


Add the ground pork to a hot saute pan (no oil needed) and break up the pieces 
(a potato masher is the best tool for this job).


Add the diced celery, scallions, cilantro, shiitakes, dried shrimp, ginger, fried shallots, soy sauce, 
rice wine, white pepper, and sesame oil. 


Stir-fry all the ingredients for about 30 seconds or until the pork is cooked through. 


Add the pork mixture to the rice porridge. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 
for about 10minutes.



 Ladle into individual serving bowls and garnish with cilantro, scallions and/or sliced 
yiu tiao (Chinese donuts) as desired.



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