“No worries if you do not have much time, energy, and patience to do the non-stop stirring motion longer enough to make your rice congee silhouette smooth almost like the machine does, I have this legendary old-folk’s method!”
How to cook the rice porridge/ congee right to achieve silky smooth and soft texture and mouthfeel, as if it was done by using the stirring machine in the restaurant for its commercial purposes? Frankly, I think nothing beats the machine. It’s the machine, you see! However, this trick I have learnt from my mother, gave me the best smoothest congee result so far.
It has nothing to do with adding any chemical ingredients or needing to get additional pricy equipment to do so. What you need is just a porcelain (ceramic material) Chinese soup spoon! Yes, the porcelain Chinese soup spoon.
Seriously, I am not sure why this works. It’s simply an old folk’s method which believed in my family. And, guess what? It works, somehow.. What you do is simply put the porcelain/ ceramic spoon into the pot of congee while cooking. Same thing, you still have to stir the rice porridge constantly while simmering, till all the rice breaks down, but with the same time and effort, the congee will be two times smoother and softer, as compared to not adding the ceramic spoon in it.
Don’t believe it? Me, either, at first. But, look at my chicken porridge. It was thick, silky smooth, and soft. The rice grain has almost all emerged and became a viscous broth. At least, it yields a great mouthfeel, to me. I compared it with those rice porridge/ congee dish I’ve cooked without this trick, this just amazed me with its cottony soft consistency in the palate..
Don’t ask me for any scientific proof, please… And, I am not sure also if you could use other porcelain utensils to do the same. I guess you just have to try it to belive it (winking smile)!
Recipe of my simple and delicious chicken porridge here:
1.5 cup of rice grain, rinsed
1 large piece of chicken breast meat part/ fillet (about 200 gram)
1 cube of chicken stock cube
Pinch of salt (about 1 teaspoon)
Dash of ground white pepper
1 large pot with 8 cups of water (about 2000ml)
Topping and Garnish
1 pair of fried fritters (fried dough sticks 油条), cut into bite-size crosswise
Sprinkle of light soy sauce and white pepper
1) Rinse rice grain 1 to 2 times. Boil rice grain with a pot of water over high heat. When water is boiling, dissolve chicken stock cube in the pot. When dissolved, add in whole piece of chicken breast meat/ fillet to cook for 10 min. When chicken is almost done, remove from pot, and let it cool before shredding it into small pieces or thin stripes.
2) Reduce heat to low fire. Add a ceramic soup spoon into the pot. Now, stir the rice porridge constantly until the rice breaks down, for about 20 – 30 minutes. Briefly press the rice with the back of the soup laddle, occasionally. *Don’t break the porcelain spoon in it!
4) When the rice porridge is almost done with the desired consistency, add in chicken pieces. Simmer the porridge and chicken meat for another 5 – 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5) Remove the porcelain/ ceramic spoon from the pot. Laddle porridge into bowl(s), garnish and serve hot.
A bowl of such simple chicken porridge counts about 200kcal. This is low fat dish that benefits any dieter and weight-watcher. Or, cook this stomach-soothing food to nurse one who is recovering from a cold/ flu back to healthy stage (smile).
Tips: Use chicken broth instead of plain water to boil the porridge for more frangrant result. If chicken broth is used, omit the addition of chicken stock cube.