Thursday, March 19, 2009

Century Egg & Pork Congee

Century Egg & Pork Congee
(makes 4 servings)
printable recipe

1/2 pound boneless pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
4 century eggs*, chopped into bite sized pieces
3 quarter sized slices of fresh ginger (or more if you like ginger)
1 cup uncooked jasmine rice*
2 - 14 oz cans of low sodium chicken broth (Swanson’s Natural Goodness is my favorite)
7 - 9 cups of water
2 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon of MSG* (optional)

Chopped scallions
Thin slivers of fresh ginger
Cilantro sprigs
“Yu Tiao”/Chinese donut*

Sprinkle pork strips with 1 tsp salt and mix well. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Wash and drain rice. Combine rice, 1 tsp salt, vegetable oil and sesame oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Stir to coat grains well with oil. Let rice marinate with oil and salt for 10 minutes.

Turn on burner to medium-high heat. Add stock, 7 cups of water, ginger slices, and MSG (if using) to rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, stirring occasionally (rice tends to stick to bottom of pot). The rice should break down completely. Adjust consistency with an additional 1 - 2 cups of water if necessary (should be as thick as porridge, but some people prefer their congee thinner, like a soup).

In the last 15 minutes of cooking, stir in chopped century egg and pork strips.

Before serving, taste for seasoning and add salt and/or a couple drops of sesame oil if necessary.

Garnish with chopped scallions, ginger slivers, cilantro and Chinese donut pieces.



Jasmine Rice: You can use any kind of uncooked white rice to make congee – I prefer jasmine rice because it adds such a nice fragrance to the dish.

Century Egg: Available at your local Asian food market (on the shelves, not refrigerated). They usually come in a 4 or 6 pack, sometimes labeled “pei dan” or “pedan”. I prefer the “lead free” kind made in Taiwan.

MSG(Accent): I always wondered why restaurant congee tasted so good. The secret ingredient is MSG! You don’t have to add it if you have a problem with MSG, some people claim it gives them a headache (if that’s you, I highly recommend reading Jeffrey Steingarten’s essay on MSG,“Why Doesn’t Everybody in China Have a Heachache?” from his book “It Must've Been Something I Ate”). I don’t normally cook with MSG, but I find 1/2 teaspoon of Accent makes my congee really addictive.

Yu Tiao” or Chinese Donut: I purchase mine pre-made. Look in the refrigerated section at your local Asian food market. I cut them into bite size pieces and toast them in the oven for a few minutes (like croutons).


  1. Another new food item - Yu Tiao! This recipe looks great and it's a lot easier than I expected. For some reason, I always think that my favorite foods to order in restaurants are too complex for me to attempt at home. It's probably because I don't bother to look at a recipe! 8-)

    Thanks again and I can't wait to make this!

  2. It's very interesting and funny!

  3. this is what I needed to be eating a couple of days ago when I was all stuffed up... well, i'd eat it now too!

  4. This is my favorite congee as well. Never have made it but now I can try. Thanks for this post! Love your blog!

  5. I know you posted this over a year ago, but I've been searching for this recipe and this looks like the closest thing to my favorite version of congee. Thanks for the post, I'm excited to make it!

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