I’ve got yet another awesome parenting moment to share with you (I do like to make you all feel better about your own efforts)… I went to pick up my daughter from her friend’s house at 3pm on Sunday afternoon. Was offered champagne. Had to admit that not only would I love one, but that I’d already had a couple, whilst on a playdate with my son, which had started at 10am. Bad look? Much?
It’s been nearly 8 months since THE MOVE and I’m having trouble keeping up with the partying pace of the suburbs, but I must say I’m having a great time and I’m wondering why I struggled raising kids in apartments for so long when there were spacious blocks, sunshine, beer (and champagne) fridges and HOBBIES to be enjoyed out here.
Still, with highs come lows, and Monday did roll around. Not only was the washing not done, but neither was the shopping, the nurofen box was empty and the kids were HUNGRY since all we’d managed for dinner the night before was boiled eggs.
I’m still trying to catch up, which is why it’s taken so long to post up this congee recipe. Over on facebook, some were intrigued and unfamiliar with congee, which is eaten by over 2 billion people throughout China, Asia & India. Basically it’s a rice soup, affordable to make and fantastic comfort food. The name, texture and additions change depending on the region.
In Japan it’s called Okayu, served thick, with eggs & grilled fish. Koreans eat juk, of course served with kimchi and the Indians call it kanji, a runnier version, served with lentils and chutney. Throughout all of these cultures, it’s commonly given as a first food to babies. Pretty similar to rice cereal after all, but a hell of a lot tastier.
My version is a cultural hybrid, quite thick, and cooked until the rice is breaking down but still has some texture. I use it as a carrier for small cubes of fish. But if your kids will fuss over that, then shredded cooked chicken (even a BBQ chicken) will be a fantastic variation.
Fish & corn congee
¾ cup short-grain rice
6 cups good-quality chicken stock
3 tbsp shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
1-2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
125g can creamed corn
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
300g boneless skinless firm white fish fillets, diced
¼ red capsicum, seeded
125g can corn kernels
Sliced spring onions and coriander sprigs, to serve
Rinse the rice well under running water, drain and add to a saucepan with the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 50–60 minutes until the rice is soft and breaking down. Stir regularly to avoid sticking.
Add the shaoxing wine, soy and oyster sauces, creamed corn and ginger. Add white pepper to taste.
When this is nice and hot, add the fish and vegies and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5–6 minutes until the fish is just cooked through.
Serve the congee topped with spring onion and coriander.
SERVES 2 ADULTS & 2 KIDS
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