Rice is a staple in China, and consumed with just about every meal. It can be cooked in many different ways, and congee, otherwise known as jook, is a favorite comfort food. Congee is basically rice that has been cooked with plenty of water or broth with many toppings, garnish and condiments added in. It's definitely a worthwhile dish to try when visiting a Chinese restaurant. There are many ways to enjoy congee. Here are three tips that might enhance your congee eating experience.
Ask for the Garnish on the Side
Most of the time, congee comes with some sort of garnish that is added immediately before consumption. Thinly sliced and fried shallots, slices of green onions, slices of ginger, pickled radishes and fried garlic are popular garnish that can add some flavor and texture to the congee. For example, pickled radishes add a hint of saltiness and crunchiness. Ask for the garnish on the side, so you can better control the amount of that is added into the congee. By having fried or crunchy garnish on the side, they remain crunchy as you add them to the congee immediately before consumption.
Order Chinese Donuts to Accompany the Congee
A popular side order that many Chinese get with their congee is the Chinese donut. The Chinese donut goes perfectly with congee. They are served up freshly fried, and are still crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Most people tend to soak the Chinese donut in the congee before eating it. This allows the donut to absorb the flavors of the congee.
Scoop Congee From the Main Bowl Into Individual Bowls With a Clean Spoon
Congee is normally served in a rather large bowl to be shared with everyone at the table. It's not only hygienic to use a clean spoon to scoop the congee from the main bowl into everyone's individual bowl, but this also helps preserve the texture of the congee. The enzymes in congee will slowly break down the starch in the dish, and cause it to become runny. If everyone dips their used utensils into the main bowl, the congee will become runny and less delicious quickly. This can become problematic if you plan on packing some of the congee home.
Congee is a delightful dish to try when dining at Chinese restaurants. There are many different variations available. You can almost add anything you want into the congee to get the flavors and textures that you adore. Common favorites include shredded pork and preserved eggs, fish, and beef. Check out the sites of Chinese restaurants like http://www.lilacblossomrestaurant.com for more information.