Congee, a comforting rice porridge, is the chicken soup of the Asian world. It’s usually served as a breakfast dish, but also can be made with healing ingredients, including ginger, to treat colds, flu, and digestive ailments. Here, the homemade broth is infused with fresh ginger and dried mushrooms for a creamy, soothing dish that’s full of healing flavor.
1. To make Broth: Combine ginger, green onions, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, mirin, and 10 to 12 cups water in large pot, and bring to a boil. Season with pepper, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes. Strain Broth, and discard all solids except shiitake mushrooms. (You should have 81/2 cups broth.) Thinly slice shiitake mushrooms,
and set aside.
2. To make Congee: Place rice and Broth in large pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, 11/2 to 2 hours, or until rice is very soft and porridge-like. Remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes to thicken.
3. To serve: Spoon Congee into serving bowls. Let each person season Congee with green onions, soy sauce, diced baked tofu, sesame oil, and pickled ginger slices as desired.