I had a craving tonight for some thick, hot rice congee. I ransacked my pantry and found the following ingredients to use:
1 can of beef stock
Some medium grain rice
Pickled Japanese mushrooms
About 3/4 cups of medium grain rice, with a cup and a half of beef stock and 3 cups of water boiled together for half an hour, until each grain of rice has puffed up nicely, swimming around in broth. A surprising amount of the liquid gets absorbed, and what’s left is the perfect, thick goodness of congee. This makes about three servings.
Then I took a nice, large clove of garlic, sliced it wafer thin with a vegetable peeler, and fried it until brown and crispy like potato chips in about a tablespoon of cooking oil. This makes both the garlic and the oil intensely flavorful.
Drain off about half the oil, and put a third of the remaining garlic and oil into one serving of congee. A dash of soy sauce, white pepper, mix well.
Scoop about a tablespoon of pickled nametake mushrooms onto the side of your bowl with the congee. Eat small amounts of the mushrooms with each spoon of congee. You’ll find the balance that’s right for you. Feel free to scoop more mushrooms if you run out.
You’ll never have a more satisfying supper.