Cardio and Cooking: How to Asian-ify your Kitchen

I am going to keep this one as "Cardio and Cooking" because I get so much cardio from walking between my residence and class. I swear that ever since I moved here, I hike for at least an hour every day. I can feeeeel the toning of my calves.

I'm starting to get used to cooking for myself, but I need to work on the right side of my brain so that my meals don't get too repetitive. Yesterday, I made myself a pot of rice for lunch. Needless to say, I didn't need a pot of rice for lunch. P came up with the splendiferous idea of making congee. Easy, somewhat nutritious, homey...sure!

Things I have learned today about congee:
- It's a great way to change up some already cooked rice in only 20-30 minutes, especially for those who overestimate how much steamed rice you need for a meal :)
- It makes your kitchen that just more Asian.
- Congee goes nicely with some fresh "choy" lightly stirfried with garlic and salt. You could be even fancier and have some "yau tiu" or chopstick donuts. If you were even fancier, you could make some "jia leung"...it's essentially chopstick donuts wrapped in a flat rice noodle sheet, typically topped with soy sauce and served with hoisin and peanut sauce for dipping. Common for dim sum!
- It is unlikely that London has a good dim sum place because there isn't even a Chinatown D': Buuut, I did manage to find 2 Asian supermarkets that I haven't made it to yet.
- Congee can be adjusted to your desired thickness. My parents prefer thinner, more watery congee, which I only like with Chinese barbecue duck or pork bones. Otherwise, I like rather thick congee, so I often add an egg.

Like holy Asian, right? 

I enjoyed my congee with some "Yu Choy". Mmm... I actually prefer "Gai Lan" with congee or wonton noodle soup, but this is what I get for going to Superstore for all of my groceries. 10% off Tuesdays for students at Superstore and Loblaws here in London, okay?
Basic Chicken Congee for One
*Makes about 3 Chinese rice bowls of congee*
1/2 chicken breast (You could use another type of meat like ground beef or pork if you'd like.)
Soy sauce
Cooking oil
Green onion
Chicken broth (Or bouillon stock)
1 1/2 cups cooked jasmine rice
1 egg (Optional, depending on desired thickness of the congee)

1. Add your cooked rice into a small to medium-sized pot. You want your total fluids to come just a bit above your rice. Use 1 part water to 1 part broth when doing this. Bring to a boil with the lid propped up by chopsticks. You can probably just put the lid on with a small opening, but I've grown so accustomed to this method from home.
2. While the rice is boiling, take the time to prepare your green onions and meat. When prepping, I typically do all of the vegetables first, and then the meat just to avoid contamination of weird raw meat germs that my mom has made me become paranoid about. Wash your green onion, and chop just about 1 tbsp of pieces, and set aside.
3. Slice the chicken breast into 0.5-1 cm thick slices. Add them into a small bowl with about 1 tbsp of soy sauce, and 1 tsp of oil. Back home, my parents made the chicken pieces nice and smooth by adding 1/2 tsp of cornstarch, but I don't have cornstarch yet. I don't have lot of things yet... Stir until all of the pieces are coated, and set aside.
4. Once the rice has boiled, remove the lid, and bring down to medium heat. Carefully add the pieces of chicken and stir to cook. Make sure the chicken is cooked so that the salmonella monsters don't get you. Annnd...it's ready! Or...
5. If you'd like a thicker congee, add an egg, and stir around until the yolks and whites are well dispersed in the mixture. Chopsticks tend to be a good tool to use for this. Continue to stir until thickened. Annnd...it's ready!
6. Top with some raw pieces of green onion, and enjoy! (If you were actually Asian and not CBC-ified like me, you would add small slivers of chopped ginger and ground white pepper as well.)


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