|Turkey Congee, a Thanksgiving tradition in many Chinese American families|
A tradition in many Chinese American households is to make turkey congee (also called “shi fan” and “jook”) the day after Thanksgiving. As soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over, a pot of water is put on the stove, and filled with leftover turkey bones (I add carrots, celery, onions, bay leaf and peppercorns for more flavor) to make turkey stock.
This stock cooks for several hours, and then is strained off. Rice is added to the turkey stock and cooked until the rice breaks down to a smooth, creamy consistency.
Turkey congee is eaten for breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving, the ultimate in comfort food. Congee is really just a rice porridge, made by cooking rice in water or stock for a long time. In Asia, congee is fed to babies and adults when they’re not feeling well. It’s the Asian equivalent of chicken soup.
Typically, white rice is used to make congee, but I tried making it with medium grain brown rice, and it came out creamy too. The cooking time was just longer.
Traditionally, congee is served with various condiments, including pickles, ginger, and fresh cilantro or scallions. To make this congee kid-friendly and more colorful, I added some carrots and serve it with scallions and a drizzle of soy sauce. For a vegetarian version, use vegetable stock.
1/4 cup medium brown rice, rinsed well
8 cups turkey stock, fat skimmed off (easy to do if you refrigerate stock overnight)
1 carrot, julienned
1 scallion, shredded
soy sauce, if desired
Bring rice and stock to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and cook, partially covered for 2 hours. Add more stock or water to reach the desired consistency. Stir in julienned carrot and cook until tender. Serve with scallion and soy sauce, if desired.
Note: If you make it ahead of time, the congee will thicken and you will need to add more water or stock when reheating
More Congee Recipes:
My Asian Kichen’s Tilapia and Chicken Congee (substitute brown rice for white rice)
Hungry Kitten’s Congee Party (substitute ground turkey or chicken for pork)
Dhyana Light’s Apple Cinnamon Congee
Doughs Risin’s Vegan Congee