Congee is Chinese rice porridge. In the Cantonese version, the rice is cooked in salted water until it falls apart, and is served with an accompanying dish, such as Stir-Fried Vegetables. NOTE: This recipe requires soaking the wheat overnight.
Rice porridge is a staple of the Asian diet; this version incorporates wheat and barley for added texture and color.
Yield: serves 4
1⁄4 cup wheat
1⁄4 cup rice
1⁄4 cup pearl barley
Soak wheat overnight, to soften. Wash rice by placing it in a medium saucepan, covering with water, and swishing it gently with your hand to release some of the starch. Drain rice, then repeat the process twice.
Add pearl barley, the softened wheat, a large pinch of salt, and 4 1⁄2 cups water to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to the lowest setting. Simmer partially covered, keeping the lid slightly ajar with a chopstick, for about 1 1⁄2 hours, stirring often. The consistency of the finished congee should be that of a thin porridge. Add more water during cooking if it becomes too thick.