By MiNa Kim
Congee, juk, kayu, porridge–no matter what you call it, it’s a hot, sloppy mess. However, unlike most sloppy messes, this one makes you feel nice and warm on the inside. If you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to chew your food, this is the meal for you. All you need is rice and some water, but here’s a special recipe that I find delicious and comforting.
Most people of Asian descent are probably very familiar with this dish. For me, it’s what my mom used to make when I was sick. Chicken noodle soup for the Asian soul, if you will (minus the chicken and noodles). For my recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
1 bag mame-moyashi, washed and cut (just roughly cut it with scissors in a bowl)
2 cups cooked rice
3 to 6 cloves garlic (smushed or chopped)
4 stalks green onions
½ white onion
6 cups water
½ tsp salt
The most straightforward way to make congee or okayu is to just boil cooked rice and then eat it with something salty (like salt… or soy sauce). The mame-moyashi* gives it a nice nutty taste, so give this a try.
*This will not work with regular moyashi.
Step 1. Boil water.
Step 2. When water is boiling, add all ingredients to pot except rice and green onions.
Step 3. Close lid on the pot and do not open it whatsoever. After mixture starts to boil, turn down the heat to med-low and let everything boil for about 10 minutes, then add green onion.
Step 4. Let soup boil for about a minute with the green onions, then add rice to the soup.
Step 5. On low/med-low, stir the soup until thickened to glue-like consistency.
*If your heat is too high, it can splatter and burn you, so be careful.
Step 5: Throw the soup and cooked rice into a crock pot and forget about it for about an hour. Stir, then forget about it for another hour or 2.
Step 6: Add salt and pepper OR soy sauce to taste. Enjoy!
My preferred way of eating this is with soy sauce. Wayyyyy better than salt. So here’s a recommended Korean recipe for a tasty soy-sauce… sauce. Try it out; you won’t regret it!
3-4 green onions, finely chopped
1 Tbsp crushed sesame seeds
2 Tbsp sesame seed oil
4 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes (Korean is best)
*If you’re using cayenne or some other ridiculously hot pepper, just use a few dashes.
½ Tbsp black pepper
½ Tbsp crushed garlic
Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Put it on top of your congee and enjoy!