Vegetable congee can be eaten any time of the day or year, but it’s particularly enjoyable as a warm and comforting breakfast. This recipe is nourishing, delicious and easy to make. It’s a perfect recipe to make on a slow morning, or make it the night before and simply reheat it in the morning.
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- 1 cup brown short grain rice
- 4 cups vegetable broth (water also works)
- 1 small knob ginger
- 1/2 cup dried sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1/2 cup dried mixed mushrooms (such as a mixture of porcini, charcoal bumer, honey fungus, black trumpet and chanterelle)
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1 small bunch collard greens (or other dark leafy greens such as kale, chard or cabbage) (about 2 cups when cut)
Rinse the rice well and drain. In a large pot, add the rice, vegetable stock or water, and ginger. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally.
As the rice is cooking, in a large bowl, soak the dried mushrooms in 4 cups of warm water. Set aside. Peel and cut the sweet potato into 1-inch cubes. Set aside. Wash and cut the collard greens into 1-inch strips, removing any tough stalks. Set aside.
When the congee has been cooking for 45 minutes, and the mushrooms are fully rehydrated, add the mushrooms into the congee. Slowly pour in the soaking liquid, discarding the last bits of liquid where any dirt and grit may have accumulated. Stir in the sweet potatoes. Cover and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, for another 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes have passed, stir in the collard greens. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes. At this point, the rice grains should have fully softened and absorbed most of the water. If the congee is too watery, simmer without the covering the pot to allow some steam to escape for the last 15 minutes. If the congee is too thick, you can add additional water as needed.
Serve warm with desired toppings, such as kimchi, green onions, a splash of soy sauce and a bit of hot chili oil.
PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE. You can make this congee the night before, cover and store in the refrigerator. Alternatively, enjoy some congee for dinner, and have the leftovers in the morning. Simply heat up the congee in the morning before serving.