I grabbed whatever ingredients I had in my fridge and did as best as I could.
They were simple ingredients like dried scallops, peanuts, minced pork meat and century eggs. That's it. Mum told me before that adding a few drops of cooking oil and a tsp of salt into the rice and water pot prevents the porridge from sticking to bottom of pot and this would yield a pot of silky creamy congee. Armed with this simple knowledge I tried my hand at cooking congee.
Dried scallops (I used 4 pcs of big dried Hokkaido scallops and a handful of small dried scallops since I had them) - I love lots of scallops in my congee
Half a bowl of peanuts (Soaked and remove skins, rinsed, drained)
4 tbsp of minced pork meat, seasoned with 1 tbsp light soy sauce, a dash of pepper, half tsp of cornflour and 1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 century eggs, deshelled and cut into small cubes
1 rice cup of rice
Water (I did not measure exactly the amount of water but I just filled my 5-litre thermal pot to almost half filled)
A dash of pepper
Light soy sauce, if preferred
1. I soaked the rice and washed dried scallops in water overnight on my stove top, covered. Kept the rest of the ingredients in the fridge. Century egg to deshell and cut into bits at that moment before adding into congee.
2. When ready to cook the congee that morning, bring out deshelled peanuts and add into thermal pot. Add about 1 tsp of cooking oil and 1 tsp of salt into thermal cooker. Stir to mix well the oil and salt with the peanuts, soaked rice and dried scallops. Turn on fire to high and let it come to boil.
3. When the rice mixture comes to a boil, I placed a wooden chopstick at side of pot so that my thermal pot lid can rest on the wooden chopstick, allowing an opening enough for congee to boil and yet not foam and overflow. Turn down heat to medium high for further 20 to 30min, if you have more time on hand.
4. Remove wooden chopstick and cover pot lid well, turn off heat and put thermal pot into thermal pot holder. It will keep cooking while inside the holder and be kept warm.
5. When back home after work at about 6.30pm, bring thermal pot of congee to boil on high heat, stir abit using a ladle for a thick mixture of congee should have been formed right now after almost a day of cooking. Add some boiling water if too dry and sticky.
6. Form small minced pork meat balls with a teaspoon and drop them gently into the boiling congee. Let it cook till done.
7. Meanwhile prepare century egg bits and leave it in the bowls you will be serving the congee in.
8. Do a taste test for the congee, add salt to taste. Scoop congee over century egg bits and garnish. Serve immediately. (If you like to add an egg, crack and leave it in the serving bowl and spoon hot congee over the egg, and it will be cooked soon after, with a runny yolk centre.