Popularly consumed in Asian countries, Congee is a variety of rice porridge that is typically accompanied by an assortment of side dishes. It has a thick consistency, and many describe the taste as similar to hot rice cereal.
Fish congee is easy to make and is packed full of flavor. It may be light, but it is a heartwarming meal that is perfect for cold, wintery days. It isn’t overly complex to make and will take around 20 minutes to prepare.
Below, we have provided you with a recipe that you can follow to create some great-tasting fish congee.
- Fresh Fish – 1bs (doesn’t need to be a certain type but ideally it should be white and flaky)
- Rice – 300g rinsed and drained
- Water – 2.4 liters
- Soy Sauce – 1 tablespoon
- Ground Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
- Ginger – 90g, peeled
- Sesame Oil – 1 teaspoon
- A sprinkle of salt – add according to taste
- Onions – 3 green and sliced
- Sprigs of destemmed cilantro
- Fish sauce – 1 tablespoon
Making the fish congee
First, you will need to prepare the rice. Wash the grains before adding to a pan with some salt, ginger, and a dash of oil. Allow it to rest and absorb the flavors for around 1 hour and then fill the pan with water.
You should expect these grains to take around 20 minutes to boil, however, you must judge it according to your preference. Some people may prefer the taste of rice when it is cooked for less or longer than this.
If the consistency of the rice/ porridge gets too thick, you can add some water to dilute it and make it a little creamier.
As the rice is boiling, next you will need to prepare the fish. Begin by rinsing it and then pat it dry with a paper towel. Using a sharp knife, start to slice the fish. Make these cuts from an angle and try to keep them thin.
When you have finished slicing the fish, add it to a bowl. Combine with the oil, soy sauce and add some pepper to season it. Mix it all together and then set it aside for around 30 minutes.
This will give the fish time to marinate and soak up the flavors of the other ingredients.
Next, you will need to add the fish to the pan containing the rice and other ingredients. Stir everything together until the ingredients are well combined. Return to the heat and then allow it to cook for another 3 minutes.
If you intend to use fish sauce, now is the time to add it. Stir in a tablespoon. If you feel as though the flavor of the fish sauce isn’t as prominent as you would like, you may wish to add a little bit more.
Keep the pan on the heat until the ingredients look cooked. If the fish is cooked thoroughly it will be an opaque white color. Once you are confident that everything is cooked, you can turn down the heat.
This soup is particularly tasty when garnished with a few additional ingredients. Using a ladle or a spoon of some kind, transfer the soup from the pan into individual bowls.
Take the green onions, ginger, and cilantro and add them to the top of the soup. To enhance the flavor further you can sprinkle some soy sauce and sesame oil. You can also add some pepper.
This is optional and can add more of a kick to the soup. Some people may also choose to serve it with some Chinese crullers.
As mentioned previously, there isn’t a specific type of fish that you need to use in your congee. Popular options include seabass and ling. So long as it is white and flaky it should work well in the dish.
Also, boneless fish is recommended because it is a lot easier and less time-consuming to prepare.
The fish should be added to the pan last, as stated in our step-by-step guide. This is because if it is added any sooner, there is an increased risk of it becoming overcooked.
Is thick or thin congee better?
This is down to a matter of preference. The perfect fish congee should be equally balanced and neither too thick nor too watery. It is important to determine what works best for you and caters to your taste preferences.
Remember that you can add the water as desired. If you want to make a thicker congee, of course, you will need to add less water. If you would prefer a thinner congee then you will need to increase the amount of water that you add.
It is worth noting that rice will continue to absorb the water even when it has finished cooking.
How to store fish congee
If you have overcompensated with the size of your portions, you may be wondering whether you can keep the congee instead of it going to waste. Although it is safe to store it inside the refrigerator, it is recommended that you only do so for a maximum of 3 to 5 days.
After this time, you should then discard it. When you are ready to eat it, you can reheat it on the stove or in the microwave.
Do so gradually, in minute increments, regularly checking whether it is hot enough. When you are confident that it is thoroughly heated, you can pour it into a bowl and it is ready to enjoy.
There you have it, an easy to follow recipe for making a great-tasting fish congee. As this dish is super easy to prepare and make, it is a great option for eating in colder temperatures.
Ensure that all of your ingredients such as the fish and the rice are properly prepared beforehand. Remember that you don’t need to pick a certain type of fish as most white varieties will work well in this recipe.