If I’m ever feeling a little unwell or down in the dumps, this is the dish I make. I’ve been eating this my whole life.
- 200 g (1 cup) white long grain rice
- 2 litres unseasoned chicken stock or water
- 2 tbsp Tianjin preserved vegetable (available from Asian grocers), rinsed and chopped
- ½ tsp salt, plus extra to season
- 200 g pork mince
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- thinly sliced spring onions and ground white pepper, to serve
Garlic and onion oil
- 125 ml (½ cup) neutral flavoured oil
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 small brown onion, finely diced
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.
- Wash the rice under running water and drain well. Place the rice, stock or water, preserved vegetable and salt into a large heavy-based saucepan. Bring to a low simmer, cover and simmer gently for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally but particularly in the final hour as the congee thickens as it may catch on the bottom of the pot. You can add more water to the pan if you wish.
- Meanwhile, mix the pork mince with the ginger, soy sauce and Shaoxing wine and season well with salt. Roll into very small balls (around 1-2 cm diameter), place on a baking paper-lined tray and refrigerate until ready to cook. When the congee has about 30 minutes of cooking time left, add the meatballs to the congee to slowly poach through.
- For the garlic and onion oil, heat half the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and fry the onion and garlic until lightly browned. Add the remaining oil, reduce the heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes to infuse the oil.
- To serve, check the congee for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve scattered with springs onions, drizzled with the garlic and onion oil and plenty of white pepper.
Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.
Photography by Adam Liaw.