Tuesday 18 September 2012

Spicy sweetcorn congee

I've decided to get my not-so-healthy butt on a massive, Chinese health kick. I've been on many Western health kicks and detoxes but I'm ready to try something different. To say I am unhealthy does not feel completely accurate, I am much healthier than I was a year ago, two years ago, but I have one persistent health problem and I would like to know I tried everything before I need to undergo a rather intrusive and wholly inconvenient procedure. So I am giving myself and Chinese medicine 6 months to sort it out. You know how I like my experiments, especially when they involve plenty of food
It's difficult to understand the intricacies of Chinese food rules from simply reading articles on the internet. The rules are different for each individual and it's a whole new way of thinking to get your head around. But congee is something every expert agrees benefits everyone. Congee reminds me of something that we ate in Poland when I still very young and sick in bed - rice soup with cooked apples. It was called "kleik" - little glue. Sometimes it was all I'd be given to eat for days on end, which eventually ruined it for me, unsurprisingly. But now, after rediscovering congee in Thailand, I am ready to eat this rice soup once more. However, I prefer the spicier, Asiatic versions to the Polish one. You basically cook the corn on the cob and the chicken, ginger, chilli and lemongrass with the rice and water for about 3 hours. Add a little sea salt to get the minerals out of the chicken bone. About half way through, take out the corn and chicken, allow to cool and take the meat off the bone (discard the skin) and the corn off the cob and add back into the rice soup. After another half an hour, take out the lemongrass. After 3 hours I found that my congee was the perfect consistency. Eat it straight away and allow the remainder to cool before putting in the fridge. I am now keeping it in there and just warming up a little each day, with some extra water for breakfast. I believe it can keep for about 5 days, but I will try and eat it in 3, just to be on the safe side. What I really love about congee is that the variations are infinite. I will keep you posted on my ones, of course


Cup full of rice and 7 times as much water
Lemongrass - 2 stems
2 inches of fresh ginger - peeled and chopped
Organic chicken thigh on the bone
Fresh chilli
2 corn on the cob

Soya sauce and chopped spring onion to serve


  1. That looks mega yum - like the kind of thing that my Malaysian mum would make when I was sick as a kiddy! What kind of rice did you use? Can you use any old kind? x

  2. hey, just noticed you here! i used jasmine rice. you can't use basmati. it needs to be rice that breaks up easily x