Thursday, October 31, 2013

Congee | Cháo | Cháo Cá

I want to learn how to cook the traditional Chinese jook, not just any jook.  The kind that you can get at authentic Hong Kong restaurants.  I've tried to make it various ways:  starting with cold water no stirring, with hot water and oil stirring, etc. but still couldn't get it to come out the way I wanted.  I saw this recipe in My Grandmother's Chinese Kitchen by Eileen Lo.  All the recipes in there looked traditional, so I'm copying them here for easy reference, but I haven't made this yet.

Congee (Jook)

½ cup short-grain rice
1/3 cup glutinous rice
8½ cups cold water
Salt, to taste

Wash rices well.  Drain.  Place both types of rice in a large pot, add 8½ cups cold water, cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Leave the pot slightly open, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 1 hour, stirring often to preven the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.  Cook until the rice thickens almost to the consistency of porride.  Add salt to taste, stir.  Remove from heat and serve.

Update:  Made jook this way.  It wasn't much of an improvement over the plain rice with 1:11 ratio, bring to aboil, then simmer, covered, unstirred for an hour.

Congee with Fish (Yue Jook)

1 recipe Congee
1 whole 3-pound fresh fish (grass carp, striped bass or sea bass) – yield 1½-lb fish filet

2 tsp Chinese white rice vinegar (or distilled white vinegar)
2 Tbsp Chinese white rice wine
2 tsp ligh soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 tsp salt
Pinch white pepper
4 slices fresh ginger, sliced paper thin, julienned
2 scallions, trimmed, cut into 1½-inch pieces

1 Tbsp scallion oil
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 tsp light soy sauce
3 scallions, trimmed, finely sliced, for garnish
1 Tbsp fresh coriander, finely sliced, for garnish (optional)

Combine the marinade ingredients well and pour over fish.  Place ginger and scallions from the marinade beneath the fish, in its cavity, and on top.  Steam the fish for 25 minutes.

Remove fish from steamer and allow to cool to room temperature.  Discard the skin, bones, ginger and scallions and break the fish flesh into small pieces.  Place fish in a bowl, add Scallion Oil, white pepper and soy sauce and mix lightly with fish.  When congee is cooked, add the fish to it, mix well and allow congee to come to a boil.  Turn off heat, pour congee into a heated tureen, sprinkle scallions and coriander on top.  Serve immediately.

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