Thursday, May 30, 2013

Burmese Hsan Pyoke (Congee or Rice Porridge)

Yield: Serves 6   
Prep Time: 5 minutes 
Total Time: 45 minutes + overnight

Hsan Pyoke (translated in English to Rice Boiled) is a recuperative comfort food for wet/cold weather or when someone is recovering from an illness. I used left-over steamed white rice from the Chinese restaurant, which I've used to make fried rice, as well. The package of frozen vegetables contains diced carrots, onions, peas, celery and potatoes.  Cooking rice the night before and leaving overnight at room temperature gives this soup a smooth and creamy texture. The minced chicken in this recipe can be omitted or replaced with flaked catfish, salmon or imitation crab and the chicken stock can be replaced with vegetable stock or plain water.

1 cup rice
5 cups water

Soup Base:
4 cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp. dried shrimp (or scallops), diced
   or 1 tsp. Ajinomoto

1 cup cooked chicken, minced
1 heaped Tbsp. ginger, julienned or paste
1 tsp. garlic paste
½ pkg. frozen vegetables for soup
Salt to taste

Green onions or garlic chives, sliced
Sesame oil
Lime or lemon juice
  1. The night before, cook rice and water until rice is very soft.
  2. Cover and leave overnight at room temperature.
  3. Next day, simmer water with dried shrimp for 30 minutes.
  4. Combine shrimp broth with cooked rice and stir well.
  5. Simmer uncovered to gruel consistency.
  6. Add most of the diced chicken, ginger, garlic & vegetables.
  7. Adjust salt to taste & simmer until vegetables are very soft.
  8. Remove from heat and pour into serving bowls.
  9. Garnish with remaining chicken, chives, sesame oil & a squeeze of lime.


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