It's cold and wintery outside. Here's the perfect comfort recipe from the three siblings behind Double Awesome Chinese Food to warm you up!
Simple Rice Porridge
This xi fan is the kind we grew up eating—ideal for cooking on a budget and cold winter nights. It’s great for kids, with a texture perfect for the youngest of eaters and the fun of designing your own bowl. We also appreciate a meal that can be made with a minimum of effort—combine the rice and water and just simmer away while you gather your toppings of choice.
In our house, xi fan was the equivalent of chicken noodle or matzo ball soup—the Chinese grandma’s version of Jewish penicillin. We’d slurp this cozy, filling rice porridge, also known as jook or congee, when sick in bed, upset, or otherwise needing a big bowl of comfort.
1 cup (185 g) white rice
10 cups (2.4 kg) water (or broth or stock)
Combine the rice and water in a large pot over medium-high heat. No need to wash the rice; the additional starch will help thicken the porridge. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat slightly and simmer for 60 to 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt. We like a soupy consistency, so add a bit more liquid if it thickens too much.
Remove from the heat, season with salt, and ladle into bowls. Top with your desired toppings and serve immediately. Leftover porridge can be cooled and refrigerated for 2 to 4 days. To reheat, stir in additional liquid until it reaches your desired consistency and heat on the stovetop or in the microwave.