Lately, my family has a new liking. That’s my multigrain congee (rice porridge). Having this tasty yet healthy meal makes our bellies feel so satisfied and great.
This congee is not exactly 100% multigrain. Instead, it’s made up of 50% multigrain, 20% millet and 30% short grain rice. The presence of millet and short grain rice gives the texture a new dimension from toothsome to smooth, as good as the normal congee.
The multigrain brand I use is GreenMax, a product from Taiwan. It consists of 11 types of grains namely brown rice (糙米), pearl rice (珍珠米), wheat (小麦), barley (大麦), pearl barley (薏仁), oat (燕麦), buckwheat (蕎麦), millet(小米), black glutinous rice (黑米), gordon euryale seed (茨实)and sorghum (高粱). If you can’t find this brand, that’s fine. You can use any brand that is available in your supermarket.
There are various ways to flavour this congee. But, using the right mix of ingredients gives a good lift to the flavour. I had done a couple of experiments with different pairings of ingredients, and finally came up with my secret version of “umami”. It’s a combination of chicken carcasses, dried scallops and pumpkin.
To cook this congee, you don’t need strong hand muscle to keep on stirring it on the stove top as what you would for the usual plain congee. The reason is that some grains such as brown rice and black glutinous rice can’t break down easily and hence have fewer tendencies to stick to the bottom of the pot. Furthermore, the chicken carcasses and pumpkin play a role to minimise the rice from sticking too. However, I strongly recommend that you use a large stock pot that has enough depth so you need not worry about spilling over. Alternatively, simmer the congee with the lid partially opened. This congee will take you two hours to cook from start to finish.
Once it’s done, serve it with a topping of chopped spring onions, roasted anchovies and roasted peanuts. These condiments are optional but a hit in my family. The crunchiness and nuttiness of peanuts and crispiness of lightly salted anchovies give this congee an extra boost of its overall texture and taste. This is the main reason that my family got hooked to this congee.
This is an effortless yet hearty one-dish meal that is perfect for your whole family.
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