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Vegan Congee with Mung Beans and Peanuts

Congee is a Chinese rice porridge made by cooking the rice with lots of water or stock until the grains almost dissolve into a smooth thick creamy mass. In its simplest form, it is made with just water and eaten plain as a healing restorative food for the young, elderly, ill and infirm. It is eaten at any time not just breakfast, and depending on your flavour and ingredient choices, can be a delicious and comforting nutritious meal in one. For more inspiration, check out our upcoming vegetarian Chinese courses.

Vegan Congee with Mung Beans and Peanuts

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free | Serves 4

Prep Time: 30 minutes +soaking mung beans overnight

Cook Time: 1 ½ hours

Ingredients

  • 100g Thai jasmine rice or plain long grain rice
  • 50g mung beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 ½ litres vegetable stock or water
  • 100g raw peanuts (unskinned is fine)
  • 4-6 dried shiitake mushrooms

To serve:

  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • Fresh shiitake or chestnut Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 heads of Pak Choi or 2-3 handfuls spinach
  • Sesame or chilli oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • Fresh coriander

Method

  1. Place the dried shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water from a kettle.
  2. Roast the peanuts in a hot oven for 6-10 minutes till aromatic, and if using unskinned nuts, place in a tea towel and rub to remove some of the skins.
  3. Wash and drain the rice and place in a large saucepan.
  4. Drain the soaked mung beans and add to the rice with the stock or water.
  5. Bring the rice and mung beans to the boil then lower the heat to a simmer, and partially cover with a lid. Cook gently for approximately an hour and a half, stirring from time to time.
  6. Check the congee after an hour and if the rice has collapsed and is a porridge consistency, and the beans are tender, then it it ready. You may need to add more water if it has become too thick. The consistency should be like a thick soupy porridge.
  7. Stir in the sliced soaked shiitake mushrooms and peanuts to the congee, taste and season with a little salt and keep on a low simmer until ready to serve. The congee will keep in the fridge like this for 2 days and can be reheated with a little extra water to loosen it.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the toppings.
  9. Slice the spring onions thinly and set aside.
  10. Slice the chilli thinly, removing the seeds first if desired.
  11. Shred the ginger into long thin fine strips and briefly fry in a hot frying pan with a little oil. It should sizzle for a minute and become crispy without browning. Remove to a plate lined with a piece of kitchen towel.
  12. Sauté the mushrooms quickly in the same pan with a little more oil, then add the pak choy or spinach, and stir fry briefly until it wilts and becomes tender. Set aside, but keep warm.
  13. To serve, ladle the congee into deep bowls and top with some of the mushrooms and pak choi, a sprinkle of spring onions, crispy ginger, chilli, coriander and sesame seeds. Finally add a drizzle of sesame or chilli oil.

Vegan congee with mung beans and peanuts


Food photography by superstar Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

This recipe was featured in the January 2017 issue of Vegetarian Living.

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