Congee with Beef

Serves 6–8

Serve this hearty dish for breakfast, or as a midday meal. Be sure to add bread for dipping!

½ pound beef

2 teaspoons oyster sauce

1 cup long grain rice

6 cups water

2 cups chicken broth

2 green onions

2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying

2 slices ginger, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry

½ teaspoon sesame oil

Salt and pepper to taste

  • Cut the beef into thin slices. Marinate with the oyster sauce for 30 minutes.

  • Bring the rice, water, and chicken broth to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

  • Cut the green onions into 1-inch pieces on the diagonal.

  • Add oil to a preheated wok or skillet. When oil is hot, add the ginger and garlic. Stir-fry briefly until aromatic. Add the beef and stir-fry until it changes color and is nearly cooked through. Remove and drain on paper towels.

  • Add the ginger, garlic, and beef to the congee. Stir in the dark soy sauce and rice wine. Continue simmering for another 30 minutes, or until the congee has a creamy texture. Stir in the green onions. Drizzle with the sesame oil. Add salt to taste.

Congee — More Than a Chinese Porridge

At its simplest, congee consists of rice cooked in water until it has a creamy texture. However, it would be a mistake to view congee as merely the Chinese version of porridge. Congee can be savory or sweet; a bland, watery “soup” for a sick patient, or a hearty meal swimming in a richly seasoned broth. It all depends on the length of cooking time and which ingredients are added to the basic rice and water mix. Congee is frequently accompanied by Chinese crullers: thick, deep-fried strips of dough approximately twelve inches in length.

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