Congee is a traditional rice porridge that is popular in many Asian countries. Because it's easy on the stomach, it's a perfect dish for children, sick people, and the elderly, but most everyone enjoys it as a side dish or with various toppings for a main meal. This particular version of congee is made with nutritious ingredients such as brown rice, shiitake mushrooms, kale, and ginger. It's nourishing, comforting, and a perfectly restorative meal to eat when you're recovering from an illness or feeling particularly low on energy.
Comforting Shiitake and Kale Congee [Vegan]
- 1 cup brown rice (I used long grain), soaked in water overnight, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 small onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root (peeled), grated
- 3 tablespoons tamari or low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 8 Shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Large handful of baby kale, or other green
- Cilantro, for topping, optional
- Chopped scallions, for topping, optional
- Add all of the ingredients, except for the kale and toppings, to a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat so that the rice is at a simmer.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, for 60-90 minutes, or until rice is tender and most of the liquid has cooked off (but not dry). About 10 minutes before cooking has finished, stir in the baby kale.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Divide between four bowls and sprinkle with optional toppings.
Pre-soaking the rice isn't necessary, but I've gotten into the habit. It speeds up the cooking time and I think makes for a moister end product. You can also use dried mushrooms. Just chuck some in with all of the other ingredients. This can be made in a rice cooker as well.