Congee is an easy to make porridge of water and a grain, most commonly rice, that is simmered for several hours. It is a traditional breakfast food eaten throughout China and other Asian countries.
Easily digested and assimilated, it helps strengthen the body and harmonize the digestion. It is even used traditionally to help nursing mothers increase their milk supply. You can enhance your congee and its nutritional effects, depending on what other ingredients you add, i.e., grains, vegetables, herbs, or meats.
A crockpot is a very easy way to make your congee, and you can add the ingredients before going to bed so it will be ready in the morning. (Ta-da!)
Basic Congee Recipe:
The ratio is essentially 5:1 liquid to grain. Place 1 cup rice and 5 cups water in pot. Simmer several hours. If you are using a crock pot, oil/butter sides of crock pot to make cleanup easier. Place 1 cup rice and 5-6 cups water, turn on low, and let cook overnight.
For Cold and Damp Weather:
Add 2-3 thin slices of fresh ginger to the cooker. You can also add some crystalized ginger just before eating. Other ideas include cinnamon, sweet potato, or dried fruits. Add honey to taste.