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Congee (Chinese rice porridge) with Oyster Mushrooms


Congee might just be the perfect savoury breakfast. Hot soupy rice acts as the carby base for whatever toppings you throw at it: I love the simple combination of garlic fried mushrooms, toasted peanuts, chilli crisp and a dash of black rice vinegar but you can get pretty fancy with things if you want to. You can also use leftover rice rather than starting from scratch to save time.


Congee

You can use pretty much any grain for congee but white rice is the most common.


If using leftover rice: add the cooked rice to a pan with roughly a 1:3 ratio of boiling water (so for one mug of rice, use two mugs of water). Let the rice simmer on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until the rice has mostly broken down into a soupy mass. You can adjust the ratio of liquid but be mindful that the rice will absorb more water as it cools.


If cooking from scratch: basically just overcook your rice a bunch, adding twice the amount of water you usually would. Spruce Eats outline several methods in detail here.


Toppings

While the congee simmers, fry up a generous handful of oyster mushrooms in sesame oil and finely chopped garlic. Once crispy, deglaze the pan with soy sauce and use it to top your congee.


Other ideas for tasty toppings: sliced chillis, egg (fried/boiled or century), fresh herbs, tofu, toasted cashews, sesame seeds, spring onions, lime juice, pickles, a splash of soy sauce or sriracha, crispy fried onions, sliced sausage, nori, sesame oil, steamed greens. The world is your oyster mushroom.

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