The Perfect Rice Congee

Ripening tomatoes, glowing peppers, tasty scallions, the secretive carrots and parsnips just waiting to show themselves- and of course lots of broccoli (Chinese and American of course) and bok choy. This is a bird’s-eye view of everything in my garden bed this year, and if you’re like most Minnesotans, you probably have some things growing in your own patch too. If you’re scratching your head asking yourself what to do with this amazing bounty you tended lovingly over the past several months, then read on!

Dietary therapy is an integral part of Chinese medicine. Food is medicine. With the arrival of fall we can take advantage of the season’s bounty while nurturing our health for the colder months to come. Rice congee is a simple soup often given to people recovering from illness. Its bland nature helps support the digestive axis that makes our Qi, so essential for life. Congee is a perfect blank canvas because you can add whatever you want to it and make it extra delicious.

When I’m feeling run down, or just want to avoid taking part in the great fall cold everyone gets, this is one of my go-to recipes to keep me on my feet and taking care of you:

  • Organic White Jasmine Rice- 1 cup
  • Water or Beef/Chicken Bone Broth (bonus points for making your own)- 10 cups
  • Minced Garlic- 3-4 cloves (divided)
  • Minced Ginger, peeled- 2-3 tablespoons (divided)
  • Minced Scallions- 2-3, white part only (divided)
  • Salt and pepper- to taste.
  • Organic Canola Oil- 1 tablespoon

Rinse rice in cold water until the water runs clear and set aside. Next, heat a 3-quart sauce pan or stock pot on medium heat. Add canola oil and allow to heat as well. Add ginger, garlic, and scallions- reserving a third of each for your final step and sauté briefly for 30 seconds, or until they have started to release their aroma. Add rice and water/broth.

Allow everything to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to a porridge-like consistency. Remove from heat, add remaining ginger, garlic, and scallions, serve, and enjoy.

Ginger, garlic, and scallions form the base of most Chinese dishes, but they’re also heavy-hitters in Chinese herbal formulas that release exterior Wind-Cold, the most dominant pathogen that we see in clinic during the fall season. Interestingly enough, these are well-known to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. So in this case, let food truly be thy medicine.

I love congee because it’s so good for you and such a versatile dish. Play with it and see what you like to add- meat, veggies, you name it. Are you looking for some immune support going into the fall season? Head over to our portal to book an appointment or a consult and we’ll keep you feeling great all season long.

Molly Kubinski, L.Ac., (FABORM)