A couple months back, a cooking method on how to whip up a super-fast congee (Chinese rice porridge, 快速煲靚粥) was widely circulated among the internet users, as well as being demonstrated on cooking shows in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The secret behind this method lies on the application of a little scientific know-how. Washed raw rice after being frozen will undergo a structural change. This freezing process will create many tiny holes and cracks inside the rice grains, which further enhance their capacity to absorb water. These rice grains, when putting into boiling water, will disintegrate fast and then release starch which turns into paste easily, and soon becomes congee. Amazingly, it only takes 10-15 minutes and a basic bowl of congee will be ready!
This new method has really opened my eye that cooking is somewhat like applied chemistry. Knowing that my food blogger friend Mike had tried and tested this method, I can’t wait any longer to try it out myself too and, here’s my verdict.
I just love this new discovery of mine. It’s indeed SUPERfast and easy to cook a bowl of congee. It also saves the trouble of blending the rice as I did in my previous superfast congee recipe. As the cooking time is rather short, the texture however will not be as silky as the typical Hong Kong-style congee. But, if you have the time, continue cooking for another 10 minutes or so. This will give you a much better texture.
For this method, choose white plain rice over brown rice. The latter is hard and requires a longer time to cook. I found this out after experimenting with brown rice.
I cooked this congee with some homemade fish stock and added in a handful of carrots and sweet corns to make it more nutritious and flavourful. Thereafter, I served it with grilled miso salmon.
Salmon bones have more fishy taste compared to other parts of a salmon, which makes them less appealing to some. But, I regard them as gems.
Since moving back to Kuala Lumpur, I have been sourcing my salmons mostly from the local wet market as they are fresher and cheaper. I’m lucky enough to know a generous fishmonger who supplies me with salmon bones, free-of-charge every time I visit his stall. My favourite way to cook them is by grilling. It’s simple and fuss-free. I use a mixture of miso, mirin and sugar as marinade which gives the salmon a beautiful coat of sweet and salty glaze. However, you may need to be extra careful when flaking meat from the bones. This is to avoid any potential hazard of swallowing tiny fish bones. If you find it too much hassle, salmon fillet works just as well too.
There are endless ways to enjoy this quick congee. If you need more ideas, please refer to the ideas in my quick congee recipe. From now onwards, I’m definitely going to store a box of frozen rice in my freezer. They surely come in handy on days when I need to cook up a bowl of congee quickly.
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