Congee, My Comfort Food

Whenever I don’t feel good, I usually prefer to eat rice congee, also called as rice porridge, or lugaw in Filipino.

rice congee topped with rousong (dried pork floss) and soy sauce

Rice congee is my comfort food. I know most people would say chicken soup is best to eat when you are not . I prefer it over chicken soup. Come to think of it, chicken soup is not even on my top 3 food that I eat when I’m not feeling well.

I felt like I was coming down with something and I didn’t have any appetite to eat anything. So I had asked Chris to make me some congee. I always find myself eating congee when I can’t eat anything else.

Congee is good because it’s a clean food when it comes to how simple the ingredients are: rice and water. It can’t get any simpler than that. What you add to it are based on preference and there are a lot to choose from. Even I have so many different preferences when it comes to my rice congee.

There are many different types of congee and/or rice porridge. This one is just a simple congee.

The rice was boiled with 3 parts water ratio compared to the rice. So with 1 cup of uncooked rice boiled with 3 cups of water. No salt added or any seasoning when it was cooked. You can add chicken bouillon and ginger too. But with this one in the picture, the congee was made simple. Once it’s cooked, then that’s when I add seasoning. My go to seasoning and toppings for my congee is soy sauce and the Chinese dried pork floss, also called rousong. I sometimes like adding century egg too. Sometimes you can also add a bit of lime juice, a sprinkle of onion chives, and dab of fish sauce. You can always switch between soy sauce and fish sauce. But if you don’t like the color on your congee, you can always use salt.

ASL 05.13.2020 (Clearwater, FL)

Chicken Tinola with Spinach

Tinolang Manok (Chicken Tinola) is a very well known Filipino comfort food. It is pinoy’s very own version of chicken soup. You won’t find any noodle in this delicious soup. With the chicken and the ginger being the constant ingredient in this soup, some of the ingredients can actually be interchanged or substituted. For example, green papaya or chayote (sayote in Filipino). Or between moringa leaves (malunggay) or chili leaves. Some would say the recipe or ingredients added are based on taste. But in truth, majority would say that it’s based on availability – it’s what’s available growing in the backyard.

Living in the US, it’s hard to find moringa leaves. I was able to plant one eventually in our backyard, but it’s still not ready for harvest soon. I can also try to ask some of my Filipino friends at church for some, but I’m shy to ask sometimes. An elder at church once actually advised me that I can use spinach instead of moringa leaves. I was skeptic at first. Until she cooked my husband and I a whole pot of chicken tinola. She had told us that she had put in spinach. It tasted really good. Ever since that day, we started making chicken tinola with spinach.

We just recently made some with chayote and spinach, and it was delicious and comforting, as always.

ASL 06.25.2019 (Clearwater, FL)

Photos
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