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What's the secret to getting smooth, velvety congee?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I've long wondered how Chinese restaurants get their congee (jook) to taste so rich and velvety. My own attempts to recreate that taste have been disastrous, so this dish isn't made very often. Does anyone out there know?

Thank you,

Ck
post #2 of 24
Mudbug says it has to be cooked overnight. I use a stick blender.

Kuan
post #3 of 24
I agree with Mudbug- a slow cooker would be just right, too. But then, Kuan is a very practical guy!
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post #4 of 24
I think it all depends on how you want to do it.

Traditionally, congee was made from left over rice from the nite before, which makes cooking time a lot less.

We usually make it from uncooked rice by putting it in the crockpot with whatever additions we like to add, bring it to a boil and then turn it down and let it cook overnight so it's ready in the morning.

Congee means different things to different people. Much like an omlett, there are as many ways to make it as there are people who eat it.

ChefKid,
>My own attempts to recreate that taste have been disastrous

Exactly how have you been trying to make it? What type of rice are you using? How are you trying to cook it? Do you soak the rice before cooking? Etc... Let us know and we will be better able to help.

;)
post #5 of 24

starchit!

after cooking the rice I mix some starch(corn/potato/etc.) mixed with cold water and add to the pot. Cook for several more minutes.
post #6 of 24
Cantonese congee is made by a long slow cooking process. No short cuts (stick blender) or addition of other starches! :D

After washing the rice (long grained), add some oil to coat the grains and let it marinate for 30min or so. Add water or stock if available and keep it on a slow simmer after the water has come to a boil. You should be able to get a nice congee with the rice grains nicely broken up after a few hours. Overnight is good if you have the time.
K C

"Life is uncertain... eat dessert first."
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K C

"Life is uncertain... eat dessert first."
Anon
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post #7 of 24
slightly out of toipc but what are your favourite Congee ingredients?
mine are Dried Scallops and Century Eggs (i have no idea why the guy in Fear Factor keeps calling it 1000 year old eggs, maybe it's for the grossness factor?)
post #8 of 24
AzRaeL,

Here in the states, the common English name is "1000 year old eggs".

Check out the post here posted (02-13-2002 05:31 PM).
post #9 of 24
in asia, it's more common to call them Century Egg
post #10 of 24
My favourite is pork porridge! It's filled with minced meat balls, sliced tenderloins, liver. In fact, I just had a bowl this evening at the re-opened East Coast Food Centre. Next will be the one with the century eggs, salted eggs and salted pork :D

Fish porridge, when I'm a little under the weather;)
K C

"Life is uncertain... eat dessert first."
Anon
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K C

"Life is uncertain... eat dessert first."
Anon
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post #11 of 24
ha! a lot of my friends swear by the Frog's Legs Porridge in Chinatown. I think it's on Sam Leong or Smith Street in Chinatown (singapore).
post #12 of 24
All of your responses are correct in the different ways of cooking congee. There are so many different styles, methods, and ingredients to making a good congee. In response to the original question of "how do Chinese restaurants get their congee so rich and velvety?", you can either add milk or corn starch with water mixture. If you use corn starch, make sure the starch is fully disolved in the water before apply to your pot of congee. That's it! Try it for yourself. Enjoy!
post #13 of 24
I like the oernight method myself. I've tried the stick blender but wasn't satisfied Of course, that stick blender died shortly after so the blender may have been faulty.

Short grain rice helps too.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #14 of 24
We use a no. 1 long grain rice, preferably Thai with at least a year on it, for juk. 9 or 10 water to 1 rice by volume, plus a little salt. About a tsp of table salt, to 1 cup of rice. I know the stove and pot well enough to know how to set the flame so it will simmer and never boil -- although if it boils for a few minutes, it isn't that big a deal. It takes about an hour for a decent textrue, and about 75 to 90 minutes for really excellent. Then I finish it with a little Maggi seasoning sauce.

We like all sorts of things in the congee. Dried bok choy, dried scallops, dried shrimp, pork foo, century egg, chicken, skirt or tips trimmed from spare ribs before smoking, hard boiled egg, minced fresh beef, sliced fresh beef, minced fresh pork, fish fillet, preserved fish, you name it. I do whatever pre-prep is necessary (if any) before adding the flavorings.

It's a good idea not to get too complicated though -- keep it down to a couple of things max. I mince some chives and serve them along with a little crisp fried noodle to dress it.

When we first started fooling with it we tried the slow cooker, loading up the congee with quantity or variety of flavorings, slow cooking them along with the juk, and so on -- but could never make it work. Not that these things don't for other people. In the end, we settled on the simple techniques I told you about.

BDL
post #15 of 24
The first time I tried congee was in Singapore - various offerings were sent out with the dish to make your own combo - I think I added too much of everything! There were things that I knew not what they were....but tried them anyway. I think I most preferred deepfried shallots, springs onions, what I think was crispy fried crumbled bacon, mushrooms, and egg omelette.

It was smooth and savoury and delicious, even after my attempt at experimenting with way too many additions.

Find your own combo to your preference, but it doesn't have to be set in stone. Try something different and see what happens.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #16 of 24

smooth congee secret

Here is the secret to smooth congee, like those served in your favorite Cantonese congee houses:

1. wash rice and drain
2. add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp oil to the rice
3. allow mixture to marinate at least 30 min to overnight
4. rinse mixture again before cooking (unless you love lots of salt & oil)
5. add enough water to rinsed rice, bring to boil, then simmer for anywhere from 1-3 hours according to your time availability. A longer simmer is usually better for congee.

ENJOY! :lol: No need to blend it, add starch or anything. This should result in a plain, smooth and creamy congee.

Ka Mun, PTT Buddhist Temple
Vancouver, BC Canada
post #17 of 24
what kind of rice....jasmine, long grain, basmati, etc.....

I like dried onions, scallions, sesame oil......and loads of crullers.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #18 of 24
My mother used a ricecooker but each ricecooker is different with regards to how much water you use so can be experimental at first. YOu do have to use a fair number of cups of water though for that smooth consistency, and it doesn't take a long time to make with a ricecooker quite simply it cooks under pressure. I don't remember my mum ever using starch in congee, but if you want to use some, just use corn starch because that is what is always used in chinese restaurants
post #19 of 24

Stick blender after using a pressure cooking gets the right consistency but the secret is the broth.  It's pork and chicken broth.  Cooking for a longer period gives it a thicker consistency (desired).  Adding a few julienne slivers of fresh ginger adds authenticity.  Try adding ginko.  Umami also is a good broth flavoring (dried flounder flakes or some dashi)

post #20 of 24

Another resurrected thread.  Coming from a Cantonese family, we use a combination pork and chicken broth.  We also always use Chung Choi (salted preserved turnip and turnip tops) in our broth.  Comes in little bundles.  Add one or two for a large pot.  Small handful of dried shrimp can be added to the broth as well.

post #21 of 24

brilliant... so short grained rice such as jasmine rice is preferred? 

post #22 of 24

Hey ignore the blue apron stuff..  but yeah the top chef winning recipe

 

https://www.blueapron.com/recipes/congee-caramelized-pork-with-crispy-shallots-and-black-garlic

 

I made it with sushi rice once because that's all I had on hand.  It worked out great! This is the kind of thing I make when I have not a lot of ingredients on hand and don't feel like going out.  My freezer and pantry are always well stocked.  STOCKed get it?

post #23 of 24

The secret is to boil raw rice without salt at a very high temperature for approx. 40 min (violent boil) and add salt and MSG when almost ready to taste.  That is how i do it at home and it comes out exactly like the restaurants. 

post #24 of 24
Sometimes I just use leftover boiled rice, slow cooker or stove top. Use turkey bones, or roasted pig head (2$/half). Felling lazy? Leftover rice, add more water, boil, add some shrimp paste, stick blender, different texture.
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