Known as 'congee' or 'jook' depending on where you are in China, this savoury rice porridge is comforting, nourishing and so moreish. It is an incredibly forgiving recipe - all you really need is rice and bone broth. The options for add-ins are endless. This version with chicken, ginger and shiitake mushrooms is perfect for when you're feeling under the weather and want a silky smooth and warm restorative soup to soothe from the inside out.
Serves: 3-4 people
Time: 8 hour soaking + 2 hours cooking
1 cup / 200g rice (I used long grain Basmati)
* 1-2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar / lemon juice
2 pouches Borough Broth Co Chicken Bone Broth
4 cups / 950ml water
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, roughly sliced
4 skin on, bone in chicken drumsticks (or thighs)
1 tbsp sea salt, or to taste
12-14 dried shiitake mushrooms
Freshly ground white pepper (so good, but black pepper will work too)
Soy sauce / tamari if gluten free
Rinse the rice briefly under running water. Place in a bowl, cover with warm water and stir in the vinegar/lemon juice. Leave in a warm place to soak overnight or for 8 hours.
When ready, drain the rice and rinse briefly.
Place bone broth and water in a pan, along with the ginger, chicken and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and leave to simmer gently for 1 hour.
After half an hour of simmering, place the shiitake mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover and leave to soak for half an hour.
Once the pot has been cooking for one hour in total, remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate or bowl to cool slightly.
In the meantime, remove the mushrooms from their soaking liquid, cut off any tough stalks and slice the caps. Place the mushrooms and their soaking liquid into the pot, and stir in.
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull off the skin. Pull the meat off the bone and tear into bite size pieces. Place the meat back in the pot. On a side note: try to keep the skins intact, season them well with salt and pepper and lay flat in a single layer between two sheets of parchment paper and baking sheets, and crisp them up in a hot oven. (Chicken skins = highly addictive)
The rice grains should be completely broken down by this stage, and porridge-like in consistency. Season your jook to taste.
Pop the lid back on and leave to cook for at least a few minutes longer, but you can leave the pot on a low heat for as long as a few hours.
Ladle into bowls, sprinkle over fresh toppings of your choice, and enjoy!