If there is one complete meal that is perfect for slow cooking, it is congee, or rice porridge.
Warm and comforting, it is pretty much the go-to dish for anyone who’s sick in Malaysia, and it is said to be a cure for anything that ails one.
A few ingredients, a few steps and a few relaxing hours is all it takes to create a bowlful of aromatic, delicious and super comforting Slow-Cooker Ginger Chicken Rice Porridge.
- 170 g (1 cup) long grain rice, rinsed
- 1.4 litres (6 cups) water
- 480 ml (2 cups) low sodium vegetable stock
- 650 g (3 pcs) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 20 g ginger, skin removed, sliced thin and lightly bashed
- 14 g (3) cloves garlic, peeled and lightly bashed
- 11 g (1 1/2 teaspoons) salt
- Century egg, peeled and quartered or cut into eights
- Fried shallots
- Ginger, peeled and chiffonade
- Place all the ingredients, except for the chicken, into the slow cooker and give it a good stir.
- Give the mixture a taste and adjust the salt. To be safe, use less salt and add more when serving. The accompaniments can add to the saltiness so it’s best to play safe and under salt.
- Once the level of salt is correct, place chicken pieces into the pot. There is no need to stir.
- Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook on “high” for four hours.
- Once the congee is done cooking, carefully remove the chicken pieces, transferring them onto a large plate or bowl. “Sift” the porridge with a slotted ladle to ensure all the chicken pieces are removed. The rice porridge may look a little watery now, but the water will evaporate as the cooking continues.
- Remove the meat from the bones and cartilage and discard them along with the skin. With two forks, shred the chicken finely. This will be very easy and only requires a few minutes as the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender from cooking in the slow cooker.
- Transfer the shredded chicken back into the porridge and give everything a good stir to distribute the meat evenly. This will also thicken the congee.
- To serve, transfer the ginger chicken rice porridge into a large bowl alongside the condiments served in smaller bowls and let everyone help themselves. Or, serve in individual bowls, topping each with a generous helping of century egg, fried shallots, chiffonade ginger and coriander.
- Make slow-cooker ginger chicken rice porridge overnight, by setting it to cook on “low” for eight hours.
- Finding it tricky to remove the skin from the ginger with a knife? Use a spoon to scrape it off.
- Century eggs have a strong sulphuric taste that may be an acquired taste for some. Feel free to use boiled salted eggs instead.
- Century eggs come cooked and ready to eat from the supermarket. Just rinse them as some are sold with a coating of sand on them.
- Try duck century eggs for a much richer yolk.
- Feel free to customise porridge toppings. Try sesame oil, fried garlic and/or thinly sliced spring onions. For a spicy kick add cut chilli or chilli oil.
- Ginger chicken rice porridge makes great leftovers. Allow it to cool thoroughly and refrigerate in individual portioned airtight containers. To reheat, add a little water and stir it through as the porridge tends to dry out in the refrigerator.
This article first appeared in butterkicap.com.
Butterkicap is a food and culture platform and community that enables anyone to experience Malaysia through stories of her people, food and places.