This is something my mum used to make for us when we were growing up. And for the adults, it was like the perfect hangover food.






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  • 2 cups cooked koshihikari (Japanese sushi) rice
  • 4 soft-boiled eggs, peeled and halved

Dashi stock

  • 2 strips dried wakame
  • 1 firmly packed cup of flaked dried katsuboshi (bonito flakes)
  • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 litres hot, just boiled water

Mackerel salad

  • 200 g can mackerel in tomato sauce
  • 2 stems coriander, coarsely chopped
  • 2 red shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 stems dill, coarsely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp finely grated palm sugar
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • Australian grey salt or Australian salt flakes, to taste
  • 1 lime, finely grated zest and juice
  • crispy fried shallots, to garnish

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time: 30 minutes

  1. For the dashi stock, place the wakame, bonito flakes and shiitake mushrooms in a large bowl and pour over the just boiled hot water. Stand until cool, then drain and discard the solids.
  2. For the congee, place the cooked rice and the dashi stock in a wide, heavy–based frying pan, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low–medium heat and cook for 30–40 minutes, stirring occasionally so the rice doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan, adding extra water if needed. The consistency of the congee should be similar to a loose porridge. This will keep in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for many.
  3. For the mackerel salad, place the mackerel including some of the tomato sauce from the can in a large bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients except the crispy shallots and toss gently to combine.
  4. Ladle the congee into a bowl and top with the soft-boiled eggs. Scatter the mackerel salad with crispy shallots and serve on the side.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.