This quick and easy 15-minute abalone congee has a similar texture to that Hong Kong styled congee I loved. Using leftover white steamed rice (a great way to use leftovers other than making fried rice), blended with chicken stock (or any other stocks such as beef, fish or vegetables), you can control how small you want the rice particles to be. So no more slogging for hours to enjoy a bowl of comforting congee!
Congee or jook (in cantonese) or porridge (as it’s known in Southeast Asia) is a regular staple in my home since young. My mum would cook it whenever one of us was sick, when the weather turned too warm (as porridge is believed to be able to reduce ‘heatiness’ in our body), or when she ran out of ideas on what to cook. Some times we had just plain rice porridge with egg omelette, preserved salted vegetables, red fermented bean curd, fried fish or fried minced pork. Other times we would have shredded chicken or pork slices and century eggs in a thick savoury congee. I was not a fan of thick pudding like congee, like how she always cook it, nor the bland white rice porridge, to me that’s food for people who are ill and I didn’t like to be reminded of being ill eating porridge or congee.
Then in my first job with Xpress Media, my boss had this in-house cook auntie who cooked this fantastic Hong Kong styled congee every other day. She would make a big pot and some select executives who had the access to the exclusive club house on top of our office building would go eat it for tea break. I remembered that club house leads to a nice swimming pool on the top floor of the building and that was a very fancy idea during those days in the 1990s. The congee was cooked with simple ingredients – white rice, shredded chicken or pork, spring onion and is so jam-packed with umami, it was a hit among the employees. She will cook it with lots of water over several hours and it has this incredible silken creamy texture and the rice particles were so small you could hardly feel it in the mouth. Now that’s the kind of congee I loved but having to cook it over several hours starting with 1 cup rice to 10 cups water ratio is just too much work.
Congee is best enjoyed with You Tiao (油条 or Chinese fried cullers), a sprinkle of crispy fried shallots over the congee helps add some crunch and texture too.
Tips for cooking the 15-minute Abalone Congee
- If you are using baby abalones, you can slice some of it and keep some in whole, so the congee looks good garnished with whole abalone on top.
- Since the abalones can be eaten as it is, cooking it too long in the congee will make it tough and rubbery, thus adding it later in the cooking with seasoning is recommended.
- You can use the brine water in the abalone can, however do taste it and see if you like the salty seafood umami flavour before adding to the congee.
- I used chicken stock in this recipe but you can use any other kind of stocks such as beef stock, fish stock, vegetable stock or even leftover turkey bone stock (from Christmas!)
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Watch how to cook Abalone Congee on YouTube
15-minute Abalone Congee 鲍鱼粥
- 1 cup leftover steamed rice
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 inch ginger
- 3 shallots
- 1 sprig spring onion for garnish
- 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 can canned baby abalone
- 2 tbsp abalone brine water season to taste
- Soy sauce season to taste
- White pepper season to taste
- Peel and julienne the 1-inch ginger. Peel and slice 3 shallots. Wash and 1 sprig chop spring onion thinly.1 inch ginger, 3 shallots
- Slice 2 baby abalones and leave the other 2 as garnish. Keep the brine water aside.1 can canned baby abalone
- Blend 1.5 cups leftover rice with 3 cups chicken stock until rice particles are smaller than the size of quinoa.1 cup leftover steamed rice, 3 cups chicken stock
- Sauté ginger and shallots with 1.5 tbsp sesame oil over medium low heat until aromatic. Takes about 3 minutes.1.5 tbsp sesame oil
- Add blended rice and chicken stock. Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer. Takes about 3 minutes.
- Add sliced and whole baby abalone and give it a quick stir in the congee.
- Add 2 tbsp of abalone brine water, pinch of white pepper and soy sauce, season to taste. Simmer for another minute. Turn off heat. Total time taken to cook is less than 10 minutes.White pepper, Soy sauce, 2 tbsp abalone brine water
- Garnish with spring onion and whole baby abalone.Serve warm with youtiao (optional).1 sprig spring onion
This recipe is shared with Fiesta Friday.