Posted by Kroocrew on Monday, January 18, 2010
There are many regional variations of Chinese congees (called zhou in Mandarin Chinese).
It is often eaten with zha cai, salted duck eggs, lettuce and dace paste, bamboo shoots, youtiao, rousong, pickled tofu, wheat gluten, with other condiments, meat orcentury eggs.
Other seasonings, such as white pepper and soy sauce, may be added. Alternatively, grilled fish may be mixed in to provide a different texture.
Congee is often eaten with fried bread sticks known as youtiao.
Udupi rice ganji is a variant made by Kannada-speaking, Tulu-speaking or Konkani people in and around Udupi and Mangalore (Karnataka, South India). Here parboiledrice (Kocheel akki in Kannada, oorpel aari in Tulu or ukadey tandool in Konkani) is steamed with a small amount of water. Fresh coconut is grated and its milk is skimmed; this milk is then added to the ganji. The ganji (called pej in Konkani) is served hot with fish curry, coconut chutney, or Indian pickles.
In Indonesian, congee is called "bubur". It is a favourite breakfast food, and many food vendors pass through the streets at dawn to serve it at residences, while calling "bubur". A popular version is "bubur ayam", which is congee with shredded chicken meat. It is also served with many condiments, such as green onion, crispy fried shallot, fried soybean, Chinese crullers (You tiao, known as cakwe in Indonesia),both salty and sweet soy sauce, and sometimes it is topped with yellow chicken broth & kerupuk/Indonesian style crackers. In contrast to many other Indonesian dishes, it is not spicy. Sambal or chili paste is served separately.
In another region of Indonesia, Manado. It is very popular with bubur Manado or Tinotuan Manadonese porridge, a healthier choice porridge with ample vegetables. It is a bit different from the one which is sold in Java island. It is made from rice porridge and enhanced with water spinach or kangkung, corn kernels, yam or sweet potato, dried salty fish, lemon basil or kemangi leaves, and melinjo or gnetum gnemon leaves.
Okayu (also kayu) is the name for the type of congee eaten in Japan. Okayu is still considerably thicker than congee produced in other cultures. Okayu (お粥?) may simply consist of rice and water, although salt is often added for seasoning. Beaten eggs could be beaten into it to thicken it into gruel. Toppings may be added to enhance flavour; negi (a type of green onion), salmon, roe, ginger, and umeboshi (pickled ume fruit) are among the most common. Similarly, miso or chicken stock may be used to flavor the broth.
In Korea the dish goes by the name juk [jook] ([tɕuk]} derived from the Chinese language in which juk [jook] means the same thing and is often cooked with vegetables, abalone, tuna, or other ingredients to create variants of the dish.
(1) Lúgao (alternately spelled "lugaw" or "lugau") is the Filipino name for congee. Very similar to Cantonese style congee, lúgao is typically of a thicker consistency, retaining the shape of the rice while achieving the same type of texture. It is boiled with strips of fresh ginger. Other flavors may be added according to taste. Most often it will be topped with scallions and served with crispy friedgarlic. As with okayu, fish or chicken stock may also be used to flavor the broth. Lúgao can also be served with tokwa't baboy(diced tofu and pork), goto (beef tripe), utak (pig's brain), dila (pork tongue), litid (beef ligaments) as well as calamansi, fish sauce, and soy sauce.
(2) Some provinces prefer the Spanish-influenced arroz caldo (literally broth rice), which is often mistaken for a European dish due to its name. Arroz caldo is actually a Chinese congee that was adapted to the tastes of the Spanish colonial settlers who patronized Chinese restaurants in the Philippines. As the Spanish could not pronounce Chinese, they gave it a Spanish name for easy reference.
Arroz caldo is most usually spiced with saffron and black pepper in place of or in addition to the more traditional ginger and scallion. Arroz caldo more closely resembles risotto than congee, and is clearly recognized by the bright yellow hue contributed by the addition of saffron, and the larger pieces of meat. Arroz caldo is more popular among those of Ilokano heritage, although people of other provinces, such as Cebu, often add Philippine prawns, olive oil, bay leaf, and Chinese sausage.
As a heritage of Chinese Culture, in Taiwan, congee is prepared almost identically to congee in Fujian Province - China, and consists of rice and water, with few other ingredients. Sweet potato is often added for taste, and eggs are sometimes beaten into it to thicken it to a gruel. As in China, congee is often served to the ill and those with difficulty chewing. A variety of side dishes are often served with congee as well.
In Thailand, rice congee is known as "jok" (โจ๊ก) and is often served as breakfast with a raw or partially-cooked egg added. In most, minced pork or beef is also added and the dish is usually topped with a small version of youtiao (known as pathongko by Thais), garlic, slivered ginger, spicy pickles such as pickled radish and chopped spring onions. Although it is more popular as a breakfast dish, many stores specializing in congee will sell it throughout the entire day.
In Cambodia, rice congee (babaw) is widely eaten for breakfast. Plain congee is typically eaten with salted eggs, pickled vegetables, or dried fish. Chicken congee, pig's blood congee, and seafood congee are also commonly eaten.
In Burma, rice congee is called san byohk, literally "rice boiled". It is very thin and plain, often made with just rice and water but sometimes with chicken or pork stock and served with a simple garnish of chopped spring onions and crispy fried onions.
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