I have been on a porcini kick since I was in France last month, specifically since I had a cep fondue (cep and porcini are one and the same thing). I prefer the word porcini, so let’s use that.
Porcini are a magical little thing. They confer a depth of flavour to any dish. Something of the woods and something rich, which when combined with soy sauce reaches a throaty gorgeous rumble. Throw a homemade chicken stock in the mix and you have something wonderful. I fancied trying the combination in that Eastern wonder dish, congee.
Congee is a simple rice porridge. Rice cooked in water until the rice bursts like stars, gifting the water with a thickness and a richness. You can get chicken congee, pork congee, pork and century egg congee, many types. In any Asian hotel, or any hotel with an Asian customer base, at breakfast there is always a soup kettle full of enthusiastic congee. It is a dish that I love to make at home, and I love to play around with it. (See Chicken Broth Congee with Soy Cured Egg Yolk which is on the blog already).
To intensify the flavour further I revive the dried porcini in the chicken broth. Preserving every trace of mushroom intensity and gifting it to the broth. The egg yolk can be marinaded overnight. 8 hours is optimum. But 3 hours like I have used here works very well too, and the egg is still gorgeously runny.
Enjoy! How do you like your congee??
This makes 4 bowls and heats well for leftovers (you may need to add more water and soy sauce as the rice will continue to swell).
- 100g white rice (long grain or basmati work well, not all rice is equal so for great congee use good rice)
- Neutral oil like groundnut or rapeseed
- 1 litre stock (chicken or veg)
- 20g dried porcini / ceps
- Soy sauce
- Worcester sauce or fish sauce
- 1 egg yolk per person (this will make 4 bowls)
- 1 spring onion per person
- Fresh parsley / chives (either or both)
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper (I prefer white for this)
Marinade one egg yolk per person in soy sauce for 3 hours. Do this in a cup or similar, or a zip loc bag.
Put the rice in a saucepan that will take at least a litre. Add the rice and ad d a tbsp of oil. Stir it through the rice. This will limit the rice sticking to the pan as the congee cooks. Add 750ml of stock, bring to the boil and reduce the heat to low.
Heat 250ml of the stock and add the porcini. Allow to soak for 20 minutes, Strain the stock into the congee and chop the porcini into smaller sizes. Add to the congee.
The congee will take about an hour. Once the rice is burst and it is nice and creamy you can start to season it. If it looks like it is getting too thick, add some boiling water as it cooks.
Season with the worcester sauce (approx 1 tbsp) and the soy sauce (2 tbsp). Adjust to taste and season with salt and pepper.
Serve with an egg yolk per bowl and garnish with the spring onion and herbs.
Enjoy hot! Leftovers heat well and last for 3 days in the fridge.