Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fish Congee

Hubby wasn't feeling too well the other day so I thought I'd make him some comfort food. Fish congee was what came to mind.

Congee is basically just a lot of water and a little rice. The amount of water you add determines how thick or thin the congee will be. Hubby and I prefer our congee to be very smooth and thick. Soaking the rice for a couple of hours prior to boiling it ensures this texture is achieved but if you don't have the time, you can purchase 'broken rice' from Asian grocery shops and skip that step entirely.

I used basa fillets for this congee, but any white fleshed fish should be fine. I sliced the fish really thinly and marinated them in some Chinese rice wine, sesame oil and soy sauce - as the fish slices are only cooked for a short while in the congee, the marinade is important for a sweet and fragrant flavour.

Serves 4


½ cup rice (soaked for 1-2 hours)
5 cups of water (add or more less depending on consistency you'd like to achieve)
2 fish fillets, sliced thinly
2 inches fresh ginger, sliced thinly (use vegetable peeler for paper-thin slices)
4 stalks green onions, sliced

Marinade for the fish:

2 tsps Chinese Rice Wine (Shao Xing Wine)
½ tsp sesame oil
½ tsp light soy sauce


  1. Marinate the fish with the rice wine, sesame oil and light soy sauce in a bowl for at least 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. Boil the soaked rice with water in a pot/saucepan.
  3. Once the mixture is boiling, turn the heat to low, and add 3 ginger slices, let rice simmer for about 30-40 minutes, checking frequently and stirring the mixture occasionally.
  4. Add fish slices to the congee and bring to boil again. Cook approximately 5-10 minutes (depending on thickness of your fish slices). Note that the congee will continue to boil on its own even after removing from heat, so don't boil it with the fish for too long as overcooked fish is not very tasty. 
  5. Serve the congee in bowls and allow your guests to spoon desired amounts of green onion slices, ginger into their individual bowls. I usually add another dash of sesame oil and white pepper to my bowl before eating as well.

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