Weather has turned slightly cold. Can’t believe that it’s already autumn. Days are getting shorter, doesn’t make me feel better. It’s getting dark at about 7pm nowadays and I dare not imagine the coming winter days when the night approaches at about 3.30pm So depressing *sigh* I am not ready for this!
Every time this year, I tend to feel that anything soupy is always a good idea. One-pot cooking method makes the process easier and simpler, especially when it has been a crappy week! The best thing about one-pot cooking is that you can make it in big portion that can last for probably 2 days to (which usually tastes even better the next days!)
For me, my one-pot food is something like Fish Congee. I love Congee, absolutely one of my favourites apart from noodles. You may or may not have tried congee. But, if you come from Asian background, you probably know what I am talking about - Congee is (in Chinese cooking) broth or porridge made from rice. Long time ago, there was a post that I mentioned about Le Creuset Cocotte. It’s always my best friend when comes to cooking stew, curry, soupy stuff. I just love how it can retain the heat!
Not a lot of people like congee, even some Chinese people that I know! It was probably the texture of it. For me, I was brought up with congee. Mom is always an expert in making this as my dad is a big fan! Mom cooks Cantonese congee that is thick in consistency. Sometimes, she makes it a bit runny in consistency as that’s how my dad likes it, which is the ‘TeoChew‘ way. Mom also makes ‘kids or babies’ version of congee that uses big slices of pork (for the stock only, they are discarded after) and peeled fresh tomatoes. That was what she fed me when I was little!
In Malaysia, you can easily spot food stalls that sell congee. Usually, it’s plain congee and served with great selections of side dishes. Basically, you can choose what you like with your congee. This is ‘TeoChew‘ style of serving congee. When you go to Chinese restaurant for dim sum, century egg & pork, chicken, fish, seafood congee are the common ones on the menu. These are the Cantonese congees. The main difference between the two as I mentioned is the consistency.
I was a bit nervous when I introduced fish congee to Arnaud, didn’t have a clue if he would like it! For him, being French, it could probably be something that doesn’t look too appealing to eat! The situation could almost certainly be made equal to the time when I was being introduced to the French delicacy – Foie Gras! Well, to my surprise, fish congee becomes one of his favourite main dishes too!
If you are new to this, never tasted Chinese congee before, give my fish congee try! You’ll never know!
Yield: 4-6 persons
200g jasmine rice, washed
1cm piece ginger, thinly sliced
600g haddock loin (or any white fish), cut into medium cubes
a pinch of salt
2 spring onions, chopped
some fried onions/shallots and ginger, to garnish (optional)
Marinate for fish:
1 tbsp oysters sauce
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp seasame oil
0.5 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
1. In a big pot, put the rice and water. Bring it to a boil. When it starts boiling, give it a good stir. Add the salt and ginger and put the lid on. Turn the heat to low.
2. Check and stir from time to time. It takes probably 30 minutes for the grains to start breaking. Cook for about 1.5 - 2 hours. Remember to stir and check the consistency. If it becomes too thick, add some water.The consistency that I always look for is like something like the consistency of pancake batter.
3. Once it has been cooked under low heat for about 2 hours with desired consistency achieved, add the fish. Put the lid back on to let the fish cooked for about 15 minutes.
4. Serve the congee in individual bowls. Sprinkles some spring onions, fried gingers and onions. You can adjust the seasoning by adding soya sauce if you wish. Drizzle some sesame oil and a few dash of white pepper.