Weekday Vegetarian: Congee with Bok Choy
Photo: Kelly Rossiter
Lots of people swear by greasy bacon and eggs to help a hangover, but here is a healthier recipe for congee, which British chef Simon Hopkinson says is the best cure after imbibing too much. If you overindulged last night, make yourself a pot of this and feel better. It takes a while to cook, but if doesn't require much effort, so you can lie down until it is ready.Even though he didn't need a hangover cure, my husband loved this. I didn't have any bok choy, so I used spinach and I didn't have any chilis, so I used a few drops of homemade srihacha sauce.
Congee with Bok Choy, Golden Fried Garlic, Green Chili and Soy
2/3 cup jasmine rice
4 to 6 cups vegetable stock
7 thick slices fresh ginger, unpeeled
3 tbsp Shao-xing rice wine
3 or 4 bok choy, or similar Chinese greens, steamed until tender, then sliced
4 or 5 large garlic cloves, peeled, thinly sliced and gently fried in a little oil until pale golden and lightly crisp
2 or 3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
shredded fresh ginger, steeped in rice vinegar
2 fresh, large green chilis, sliced
Light soy sauce
Toasted Sesame oil and/or chili oil
1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, mix together the rice, 4 cups stock and the ginger and bring up to a simmer. Cover and cook very gently indeed, for at least 1 hour or maybe longer, stirring from time to time; the desired consistency should be that of porridge, and with the rice and stock harmoniously married; you may need more stock to get it just right. Naturally, the rice will be overcooked almost to the point of submission. Once you are happy with it's consistency, fish out the ginger and discard, then add the rice wine and stir in.
2. To finish the congee, ladle it into bowls, distribute the garnishes as you see fit, then trickle on a little of the soy and oils.