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Author Notes: AKA arroz caldo, Filipino congee is a take on Chinese rice porridge that incorporates the aromatic intensity of ginger and garlic, savory from fish sauce, and brightness of lemon (or calamansi) juice. Sooths the soul, and is the perfect breakfast for the coming winter months. —jaq andre
Makes 6-8 servings
- 2 pounds chicken (bone-in for more flavor, boneless for less fat)
- 2.5 cups water (to cover)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced (for garnish)
- 1 large knob ginger, peeled and julienned
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1.5 cups jasmine rice, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce (patis), or to taste
- 3 pieces green onion, sliced
- 3 lemons (or 5 calamansi), cut into wedges
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Sauté ginger, onion, and 4 cloves minced garlic (reserve 2 tablespoons for later - you’re going to fry it until crispy to use as a garnish after it’s done) in oil in a stock pot for about 5 minutes, or until soft.
- Add the chicken, piece by piece, and cook until brown - approximately 8 minutes.
- Add rice and then fish sauce, sauté for a few minutes. The rice should be fully incorporated with the chicken/garlic/ginger mixture.
- Add the water to cover the mixture, plus a little more. Reserve some on the side to add to the porridge while it cooks, depending on how thick you'd like for it to be. Bring to a boil, and then down to a simmer -- simmer on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until rice is cooked through and desired thickness is achieved.
- While the congee is cooking, season it with salt and pepper to taste -- remember that fish sauce is very salty, so be mindful not to over-salt.
- Fry the remaining minced garlic in oil until crispy brown. Set aside on a paper towel to drain.
- Portion into bowls and garnish with crispy garlic, sliced green onion, and fresh squeezed lemon/calamansi juice. Add a splash of fish sauce upon serving, if desired.