This is the simplest possible version of congee, or rice porridge, and is meant to be eaten with such spicy condiments as pickled vegetables, bits of sausage, dried fish, thousand-year-old eggs, and cubes of fermented bean curd.
- 1⁄2 cup Japanese short-grain white rice (not sticky rice)
Put rice in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Swish rice around with your hand to release some of the starch. Pour off water, then repeat process until water remains clear, about twice more.
Add 5 cups cold water to rice and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring once or twice. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring often, until rice grains are very tender but still distinct and the congee has the consistency of thin porridge, about 30 minutes.