My recent post about eating shrimp tails
seemed to get some good response, so I thought I'd do about post about eating whole shrimp. Once again, for breakfast. Congee is a rice porridge, flavoured with fish sauce and soy sauce, and whatever else you have on hand. It's a terrific breakfast dish for those of us who want the comfort of porridge, but don't really dig sweet in the morning.
The last time I made congee
I did not have any dried shrimp. This time, thanks to my dear friend Jo
at Create A Cook
, I have some lovely whole dried shrimp in Korean chili oil that are going to be perfect for my little pot of congee. When I say whole I mean shells, eyes, little flipper things - the entire creature. These shrimp are a tad larger than the dried shrimp I've used in the past, so I'm excited to see what kind of texture they are going to add to my dish.
My new ingredient.
The basic recipe
I use is by David Lebovitz
- it's a terrific recipe that you can really make your own. In my opinion congee (or Jook as it's sometimes called) does not keep very well. For one person I use a quarter cup of rice and a half cup of water. Although, I add a fair bit of water during the cooking process to give it the right porridgy consistency.
I add my minced ginger and garlic as soon as the rice/water mixture starts to simmer. The other ingredients are based on what I have on hand, and added when the rice has begun to get soft. Some diced carrot, frozen peas, a pinch of salt and once the rice is tender I add a little dash of fish sauce and soy sauce as well as my dried shrimp.
Shrimp, ginger, peas and carrot.
The chili oil that the shrimp were packaged in gave my congee a little heat which added a surprising element to the congee. I don't normally add any chili's but after this experience they are going to become a regular player.
The whole shrimp added body (literally) and texture to the congee. And although they were larger than the dried shrimp I had used previously they still managed to add to the dish without taking away from any of the other flavours or textures.
I think this is possibly the best congee I've ever made. The flavours are all working together, nothing it too overpowering and it's warm and soothing on the tongue.
I'm ready to face my day, even if I'm wishing I'd made enough for a second bowl.