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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Other people's congee!

I'm so excited by how many people have jumped on the congee train. Here are some photos from folks of their own congee. They all look so delicious!

You remember Anne's lovely chicken and leek congee, of course; here's a photo to remind you. 

If Wes Anderson did a congee photo shoot, this is what it would look like.

(let's nobody forget to include Cody!)

The fabulous Laura von Holt, a.k.a. Von Hottie, made this beautiful bowl of congee topped with egg, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, and sesame oil. 

Says Laura: "It's delicious & reminds me of eating plate lunches in Hawai'i. I drew a heart with Sriracha sauce because Lorelle says food is best for you when it is made with love." Awwww. And it's true!

Lucie, a gifted cook, baker and yogi, made bai zhou topped with egg and greens ("Reminds me of my grandma's house," she says): 

and then a savory congee made with homemade stock and topped with tofu, greens and sesame seeds. 

I literally can't look at this photograph without my mouth watering.

My friend and fellow acupuncturist, Lesley Custodio of Feel Well Acupuncture in San Diego, made this exceptionally healthful savory quinoa congee. 
Quinoa always gets this adorable little curly tail when you cook it.

Here's how she did it: "I first sauteed onions and garlic in olive oil. When they were golden and caramelized, I took them out. Then I added some leftover rotisserie chicken and ginger and let it cook for a little bit before adding water and quinoa. I think I used about half a cup of quinoa and 4 cups of water. I added safflower (hong hua) and a bay leaf and let it boil away. When I'm ready to serve it, I add back the onions I took out (my Mom's secret trick!) Salt and pepper to taste too."

Lesley's quinoa congee is a terrific example of a whole-grain congee. Even though I feel strongly that the small amount of white rice consumed in a bowl of congee can't have more than a negligible impact on the blood sugar levels of a basically healthy person, variety is a nice thing. Moreover, having a whole-grain option can be important for diabetic or pre-diabetic people.

Another great whole-grain congee option: Jenjen's brown basmati rice congee, cooked with kale, ginger and cilantro. 


Jenjen and I have been friends for twenty-something years, and she's one of those people that you know you can turn to kind of no matter what. Like Jenjen, this congee sounds warm and comforting--perfect February food. 

Here's Mayumi's gorgeous congee, topped with tea eggs, roasted nori, chopped scallions and Sriracha.

Mayumi and I have also been friends for forever, and she is as lovely a writer as she is a friend and congee-dresser.

Tara and Les Goodman run the phenomenal Adafina Culinary catering company, and they are congee eaters from the way back. Tara sent me this photo of  her Saturday morning breakfast: "This morning's congee: made with chicken carcass broth and topped with chopped ginger, fermented black bean chili sauce, cilantro, fermented cabbage and crispy onions."

See that squat brown ceramic crock in the back left there? That's the fermented cabbage, and it's getting it's own blog post one day soon.

Um, holy moly. 

Another fellow acupuncturist, Molly Shapiro of MBS Acupuncture in Bethesda, made this bowl of deliciousness:

You can read her recipe and experience with congee in Asian countries in her thoughtful blog post, right here

And the beautiful people at Wishbone restaurant in Petaluma put this gorgeous sweet congee on their brunch menu!

And then they served it in the most adorable mini-French-oven you ever saw in your whole life.
Black forbidden rice cooked in coconut milk and topped with toasted coconut and fresh fruit. This is the decadent way I started my morning today. It was like eating dessert first--but I still felt all wholesome and virtuous. Win-win! 

Speaking of sweet congees, the next sweet congee recipe I'm looking forward to trying is this Warming Pear and Ginger Congee,  written by another acupuncture colleague and friend, Michael Ishii of Stonewell Acupuncture in New York City. It's a recipe written with autumn in mind, but it sounds perfect for the unusually dry California winter we've been having.

Thank you all so much for sharing your congee adventures with me! Please keep them coming--you can shoot photos and recipes over to me at

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