Saturday, August 6, 2011

稀飯|粥 xifan, zhou, jook, congee

This one's on the more "wonkish" side of Chinese cuisine (and really, many Asian cuisines). By that I mean that it's not part of the common, Americanized repertoire of "Chinese food". Xifan, as my Taiwanese family calls it, is rice porridge, more commonly called "congee" in English. Basically, it's rice that's been boiled for long enough to soften up and disaggregate into a porridge-like consistency. Based on preference, your congee can be more watery, with the grains relatively intact, or thicker and more porridgey. I've generally seen it as breakfast food and for when you're ill, prepared simply with water, relying on the other foods and garnishes you eat with the congee for flavor. I've heard Koreans eat it as hangover food, too, which makes a lot of sense; this keeps in line with the sick-food theme as it's light and not likely to upset your stomach.

This particular version of it, however, is savory and salty--the Cantonese preparation of it, called juk. The rice is cooked a very long time with pork bones and salted such that it's thick and smooth and filled with umami. This rice is delicious by itself! Though you still eat it with other things.

parboiling the bones, skimming scum

 after the rice and bones have boiled some 3-4 hours, the bones are removed

mmm, goes down so smooooth


  1. Even though I rarely eat rice anymore, this looks really good! :-)

  2. @Lillian I'm sure just one little bowl isn't a problem!