Monday, January 30, 2012

Beef Mince Congee (Beef Rice Porridge)


Beef Mince Congee01

This is an old-fashioned breakfast I always had when I was a primary-school aged kid. To me, a bowl of nice and hot congee before going to school seemed to be a luxury enjoyment, although it didn’t cost much at all. The traditional way of enjoying the congee is to go with a plate of steamed rice noodle rolls (豬腸粉) or deep-fried dough , aka “you tiao” (油條).

You can make some plain congee a day or a few days ahead, and store it in fridge. Whenever you need it, just bring it to boil and pop in some marinated beef mince. There you go, a nice and hot breakfast is served in a few minutes. This congee is best served hot. The highlight of it is the soft, tender and just cooked beef mince. That’s why Hong Kong chefs often ladle boiling congee over beef mince. You might like to replace with any meat you like, for example, pork or chicken.

Beef Mince Congee (Printable recipe)
By Christine's Recipes
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 100 mins
Yield: 3 to 4 serves

Ingredients:
  • 145 gm (about 1 rice cup) rice
  • 3 L (12 cups) water
  • salt, to taste
  • oil, to taste
  • 150 gm beef mince
  • 35 gm rice vermicelli (aka rice sticks, rice noodles)
  • deep-fried peanuts, to taste, optional
  • spring onion, diced to taste
Marinade:
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tsp water
  • 2 tsp cornflour/corn starch
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • sesame oil, to taste
Beef Mince Congee Procedures

Method:
  • Rinse rice two to three times. Drain well. Mix with a little bit of oil and salt. Set aside for 20 minutes.
  • Use a large pot, bring 3 liters of water to boil. Add the rice and stir to prevent from sticking to the bottom. When it boils again, reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until the rice soften and the congee thickens, about 1½ hours. Be sure not to let it spill over along the way of cooking.
  • Heat up one-third of a pot with oil over medium heat. Put a tiny bit of rice vermicelli to test the temperature of the oil. If the rice vermicelli immediately floats to the surface with bubbles vigorously arise, the oil is ready. Deep fry the rice vermicelli until it turns fluffy, yet not brown. Immediately drain out and place on kitchen towels to absorb excess oil. Let it cool completely.
  • Mix the beef with the marinade. Mix in the rice vermicelli.
  • Put the marinated beef in the congee, or place at the bottom of individual serving bowls, then ladle boiling congee over it. Sprinkle some spring onion and fried peanuts if you like. Enjoy!
Beef Mince Congee02

Notes:
  • For making best congee, I learned a trick from my mother-in-law. Mix the rinsed rice with a bit of oil and salt before cooking it with boiling water. The rice will be broken down very quickly and produce a very nice starchy texture.
  • Along the way of cooking, the congee is easily spill over as a result you'll loose the fantastic, smooth, starchy content broken from the rice. Thus, keep an eye on it and try not let it spill over by all means.
  • When it comes to mixing the beef with the marinade and rice vermicelli, it’s better to use your hand (Clean your hand of course, or wear hygienic gloves.)
  • Don’t over cook the beef. The beef turns tough otherwise. That’s why Hong Kong chefs often ladle boiling congee over beef mince instead of cooking it in boiling congee.

19 comments :

  1. Wow, this is one congee which will be a hit amongst my family members. So kind of you to share the recipe.

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  2. the texture of your congee looks perfect, very fine and starchy, just the way I like it.

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  3. Putting rice vermicelli and peanut are great ways to add crunch to the texture of the congee. Your congee looks so tasty!

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  4. your congee looks absolutely smooth, just the way I like it.

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  5. Love congee. I think I will try making this tomorrow!

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  6. I never heard of that tip! I'll have to use it next time. Thanks!

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  7. I was looking for a congee recipe with peanuts in it. Thanks for posting this!

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  8. Thank you so much for this article! It was my first chinese cooking success since I moved to Shanghai :) And it was delicious :)

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  9. @Cerise:
    Thanks for your shoutout. Glad that my humble porridge recipe could bring up your cooking mojo. :)

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  10. @Cerise:
    Btw, tried to post a comment on your blog, but unfortunately, it didn't accept the above one.

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  11. Hi Christine!

    Thanks for your recipe. Love the congee and I cooked it for my sick hubby. Just wanted to check if we need to cover the pot with a lid while cooking for the 1.5 hours? I realized for me, the pot tends to start overflow every 2 minutes so I have to lift the lid every 2 minutes. It seems a bit too frequent right? I must be doing something wrong. Should I cook without a lid the next time or let it sit semi-open on the pot so it will not overboil?

    Also, have you tried making this in a rice cooker or is a stovetop the best way to go? I have a Zojirushi rice cooker and when I used the 'porridge' mode with the water filled to the 'porridge' level (tried it more than a year ago), the porridge turned out like the Teochew (潮州) style of porridge where the rice grains are very visible and water is a lot more runny than starchy.

    Looks like this: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_II8xB8Ke_u4/S2GM7XLSnBI/AAAAAAAALXg/TvlnAs7Y-9A/s800/Porridge+2.jpg

    Haven't made any porridge since the failed attempt until I saw your congee post! =)

    Thanks!

    Karen

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  12. @karen:
    Cooking congee is quite troublesome as the starchy content easily overflows along the way of cooking. Actually, I used a thermal cooker (also known as vacuum pot) to cook congee. Please take a look at its picture
    here. It saves me from the problem of overflowing.
    If you don't have a thermal cooker, try using a larger pot. It would help a lot.

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  13. I love congee and after trying this one, it was perfect and so easy to follow, thanks!

    Only thing missing is the you tiao, do you perhaps have a you tiao recipe?

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  14. Going to cook this tonight, serve with your marinated beef (lo siu) & 'lo siu' eggs.... Yum



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    1. Yeah, marinated beef (lo siu) & 'lo siu' eggs go so well with this porridge.

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  15. How much water is needed? Just wondering if it's 3L or 6 cups? Not sure if that equals...thanks much!

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    1. It should be 12 cups. Thanks for asking. Updated the recipe. :)

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  16. What is the purpose of the deep-fried vermicelli noodles?

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    1. It's a traditional way to make this congee. Deep-fried vermicelli noodles will help to produce better texture.

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