Saturday, March 13, 2010

Recipe: Low GI Congee (Jook)

With a Chinese background, I'm always craving congee ('jook'). It's the dish most Chinese turn to when they're feeling under the weather. It's fed to babies when they first get introduced to solids. It is the ultimate comfort food.

It is, essentially rice that has been cooked down to a 'soupy' consistency.

Unfortunately, since it is made with white long grain rice, it has a high GI, and no sooner have you eaten it, then within 2 hours you get hungry again.

I have been experimenting with ways to make a low GI version: comfort food that keeps you fuller for longer.

Various themes on this work, it depends on how far you are willing to depart from the white soupy original. Servings are for 5-6 people, I eat this for breakfast.

Make up 1 1/2 cups using part or all of the following:
rolled oats
basmati rice
pearl barely

3-4 dried shittake chinese mushrooms
stock cube (optional, for flavour. Sorry - my stock-making skills are not up to scratch).

Enough water to cover this 3 times. I have a giant thermos pot which I cook this congee in overnight. It's like a slow cooker pot, but you don't need to connect it to power.

My favourite combination is
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 basmati rice
1/2 pearl barley
tablespoon of quinoa.

It looks pretty authentic, doesn't it?

I have tried making versions with more quinoa, but unfortunately it tends to turn the congee yellow, and it tastes very 'beany'.

Oats and pearl barley work quite well as well. The oats give you a very gelatinous texture, the rice loosens it up, and the pearl barley adds texture and makes you feel wholesome whilst eating it.

Once the mix is cooked up, I pull out the mushrooms, slice them up, and then add them back in again.

Of course my downfall with this dish is eating it with traditional accompaniments - like yao jar guai (deep fried breadsticks) for dipping, and salty egg.


Renita said...

hehe. How funny. I am eating a bowl of congee right now as I stumbled across your site. I never really thought of it as comfort food...I have it whenever I'm sick though. Very true, how it makes you hungry very quickly!

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you for this recipe!

I love congee but had to cut back because it was high GI, but now I can eat it all the time with this version!