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.