Taiwanese Comfort Food - Congee!

What do all Taiwanese people eat when they're sick? That's right! CONGEE! It's the real food given to Taiwanese babies to help them grow strong bones! This is also what Taiwanese people like to eat for breakfast... not cereal!

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins ~ 1 hr

2 large bones (pig or cow, for the broth)
1 cup of rice washed
4 cups of water
1/2 lb ground pork
2 stalks green onion chopped
3~4 heads of Japanese Shitake Mushrooms chopped
1/4 cup carrots finely chopped
1/4 cup ginger finely chopped

  1. Boil the bones in water until bone marrow builds up. Scoop it out of the stock and continue to simmer for 1 hour. You can use a slow cooker if you wish.
  2. On a separate stove, add a little oil and stir fry the ground pork, carrots, ginger, and mushrooms.
  3. Once the broth is ready, pour in the cooked pork and veggies and rice. Boil until soup thickens.
  4. Add salt and white pepper for taste.
  5. Top with green onions before serving.
You can substitute most of the ingredients, such as replacing pork with fish and add celery. It's usually whatever you have in the refrigerator. Another option for broth is to buy them from the store, it's less healthy, but you don't have to spend time cooking it. I buy the free range chicken broth with no MSG and less sodium from Central Market.

Shitake Mushroom
This is the most popular mushroom used in Taiwan. They have a stronger aroma than the regular mushrooms and usually come dried in a package that you can pick up in oriental markets. To chop them, simply soak them in warm water for a few mins and they'll turn soft. If you absolutely can't find these, you can replace them with any other mushrooms.