When I need some nourishing, I turn to congee for breakfast. With its many health benefits, this ginger congee is a great way to fortify your body and will help you to face the day! This recipe uses brown rice instead of the traditional white rice typically used in congee. Brown rice is less processed than its white counterpart, and therefore, offers much more nutrients. In addition, like other whole grains, brown rice retains its fiber content allowing the body to digest it more slowly. This results in feeling satiated longer as well as a higher quality and sustained level of energy. This means you won’t be reaching for a late morning snack or another cup of coffee by lunchtime!
Ginger also has strong healing qualities and has historically played a central role in medicine, particularly in Eastern cultures. In Ayurvedic medicine, ginger is known as vishwabhesaj, or “universal medicine”. It helps alleviate a wide variety of ailments – to name a few: colds and fevers, nausea, arthritic pain, intestinal parasites, menstrual discomfort, headaches. Ginger is a good stimulator for digestion. It also boosts circulation, respiration and nervous system function. It has a strong, maybe acquired taste for some, but I find it deliciously satisfying across many food applications. I often start the day with ginger-seeped hot water. You can adjust the amount of ginger used in this recipe, but I find ginger to be a central component to this dish. The more the better – bring it on!
If you don’t have time in the morning to cook congee, you can cook it in a slow cooker overnight and wake up to a nourishing, delicious breakfast! See instructions below.
You can keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, add water or more broth as congee will thicken in the refrigerator.
- 1 large piece of ginger root
- about the length of your hand
- 5 scallions roughly chopped
- 7 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 10 cups water
- 1 cup short grain brown rice
- 3 scallions sliced thinly
- tamari to taste
- drizzled toasted sesame oil
- certified GMO-free baked tofu cut into strips
- poached egg
- raw baby spinach
- Asian chili paste
- gomasio salted sesame seeds
- fried shallots
Wash ginger root well. There's no need to peel the ginger. Cut ginger root into round coins about 1/4" thick. In a large pot, combine ginger, roughly chopped scallions, dried shiitake mushrooms, garlic and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain solids from broth keeping the shiitake mushrooms. Slice mushrooms thinly and set aside.
In the same pot, put broth and brown rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.* Remove from heat and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes to thicken.
Spoon congee into individual bowls. Top with scallions and reserved shiitake mushrooms. Add other desired toppings.
You can also cook congee in a slow cooker overnight and wake up to a nourishing delicious breakfast. After cooking and straining the broth, put broth and brown rice in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours while you sleep! Stir well before serving. You may have to add water to achieve desired soupy-ness! Add scallions and reserved shiitake mushrooms. Add additional toppings as desired.