Ernest Reynoso Gala

CHINESE CONGEE

Chinese Congee
by Ernest Reynoso Gala/Olivia Tee

A. 1 cup washed rice-calrose or C4 dinorado. Put in a rice cooker with 10 cups water and cook for one hour. Add 1-1/2 tbsps. rock salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper.

B. Meatball topping: Mix well in a bowl:
1 cup Monterey ground pork or chicken giniling
1/4 cup each soaked, drained, and then chopped Chinese/shiitake mushrooms
chopped spring onions
chopped carrots
soy sauce, and cornstarch
1 whole egg
1 tbsp. each of rice wine and sesame oil
Form into one-inch balls and drop in eight cups boiling water until balls float. Retrieve with slotted strainer. Do not throw boiling water.

C. 4 pieces cubed tokwa (firm tofu), 250 grams fish or squid balls, 20 pieces siomai or wonton wrappers cut into 1-inch pieces.

Heat 4 cups oil until very hot. Fry tokwa, remove from oil; then fish or squid balls, remove; then siomai wrappers. Drain on paper napkins.

D. 4 century eggs — peeled, cut into 6 wedges each. Prepare 5 whole eggs.

E. Seasoning sauce:
1 tbsp. thinly sliced ginger
1/2 cup sliced violet onions (shallots)
5 leaves Chinese pechay (shredded)
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbsps. each of sugar, Chinese rice wine, sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped spring onions.

In the 1/4 cup oil where you fried the tokwa, brown the ginger and violet onions. Toss in pechay and other ingredients (except the spring onions, which you will use for topping). Let boil.

F. To serve, prepare 5 big bowls, add 2 cups cooked rice. Top with meatballs, 1 raw egg if desired, some century eggs, seasoning sauce (letter E), wonton bits, tokwa, spring onions.

G. For the fish or squid balls: Follow A (you have to cook another set of 1 cup rice with 10 cups water). Top with remaining tokwa, fried wonton wrapper bits, century eggs, seasoning sauce, spring onions.

Tip: Congee will continue to expand and thicken. Add water from where you cooked the meatballs and boil in the rice cooker.

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