Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Raisin Congee

The Chinese make a breakfast porridge out of rice, broths, savory meats or, rarely, sweet fruits.  This gruel is called either congee or jook.  The older I get, the less I can handle wheat.  My mom doesn't digest wheat well and neither does my sister.  So I am trying to experiment with an abundance of gluten free crock pot fare as the weather cools down and eventually gets frigid.

My latest 1 AM trip to Winco was thrilling.  I can go with my measuring cups & spoons and in the bulk bin section get all kinds of grains, flours, seasonings, dried fruits, nuts, etc in the exact portions I want for pennies.  The prices at Winco are so cheap, Whole Foods ought to be ashamed of themselves. Winco has a fabulous organic selection in the  bulk section, as well as great trashy junk food.  I love the bulk system, because I don't have to store partially used boxes & bags of obscure products I rarely use, or even worse, ones I hated.

When I got home I took out the the 3 quart crock pot, tossed in all the ingredients, and went to bed dreaming of the sweet creamy rice porridge that would greet me in the morning.  I awoke, ran to the kitchen and scooped up a bowl.

Winner, Loser or Meh

After the first taste, I added a splash of milk.  After the second I added a dash of honey.  I finished it, but wondered if I would eat the rest for breakfast later in the week or use it as scrapbook paste.  I have a pretty big sweet tooth.  I'm not a big lover of hot cereal as it is...so, I imagine anyone who is would give it a B-.   So overall ...meh.


Use a small crock pot for this.

  • 1 cup aborrio rice
  • 1 14 oz can evaporated skim milk (regular milk breaks down in slow cooking over long period)
  • 1/2 -2/3 cup raisins
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • milk for serving, optional
  • honey for serving, optional
Place first 5 ingredients into crock pot, set on low, cook for 6-8 hours or all night.  Serve with milk and/or honey if you so desire. Serves 3


  1. Perhaps you should give congee another try, as the recipe you made doesn't sound like congee at all. Your recipe sounds like bland rice pudding, rather than rice porridge. I usually make congee, jook, or bubur with 1 part rice to 5 or 6 parts liquid, although some recipes recommend up to 13 parts liquid. Try the recipes here: http://www.homemade-chinese-soups.com/cooking-porridge.html here: http://veganepicurean.blogspot.com/2010/03/slow-cooker-congee.html and here without the eggs and meat: http://thelittleteochew.blogspot.com/2009/06/century-egg-congee-pi-dan-zhou.html I sometimes use all water or all vegetable stock. Try the original, savory versions first before figuring out how to make alterations for a sweet version. Even better, try this in a reputable Chinese restaurant (one where Chinese people eat). If I make a batch with water, then I can eat it savory one day and sweet another. Fresh mango and berries go well, with dates or honey as sweetener. Enjoy!