This hearty and warming rice porridge dish is popular in many Asian countries. This variation incorporates sweet butternut squash, which not only provides this dish with a good amount of vitamins A and C, but it also adds its cheerful sunny colour.
Bring out the sweet side of this congee by topping it instead with chopped fruit, toasted nuts, a drizzle of coconut milk, a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, and some chopped basil and mint.
1/3 cup (80 mL) long grain white rice
1/2 Tbsp (7 mL) grapeseed oil
12 oz (340 g) butternut squash, peeled and grated, about 4 cups (1 L) loosely packed
4 cups (1 L) low-sodium or homemade vegetable stock
1 cup (250 mL) water
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) fish sauce
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground white pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) maple syrup
1/2 cup (125 mL) kimchi
1/3 cup (80 mL) cooked, shelled edamame beans
Fresh Thai basil leaves and fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
2 tsp (10 mL) black sesame seeds, for garnish
In fine-mesh strainer, place rice and rinse well under cold water until water runs clear, about 30 seconds. Transfer rice grains to food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
In medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add rice and grated squash. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add stock, water, and fish sauce, and allow mixture to come to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover with lid, and let simmer, stirring occasionally until congee is creamy, about 90 minutes. Stir in white pepper and maple syrup.
Divide warm congee among 4 serving bowls before topping with kimchi, edamame, Thai basil, cilantro, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Enjoy while warm.