Pork mince balls and century eggs congee

Pork mince balls and century eggs congee

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From
Have You Eaten
Serves
8-10
Photographer
Billy Law

There’s something so special and comforting about mum’s cooking. When I was young, my mum always made a big pot of rice congee whenever I felt ill and lost my appetite. I think many Chinese families follow this tradition, believing that the little bowl of humble rice porridge is the best remedy to heal the weakening body and soul. Still today, I make a pot of this congee whenever I feel a little under the weather, then spend the whole day burrowed under the blanket in front of the tv, with a bowl of this comforting congee. It is a mum’s warm hug in a bowl.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g jasmine rice, rinsed 3 times
5 slices of ginger
2 litres water, plus more to top up
4 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 century eggs, peeled and roughly chopped, (see note)

Pork minced balls

Quantity Ingredient
300g minced pork
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, fi€nely chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon cornflour

Extra condiments (fried anchovies with peanuts, optional)

Quantity Ingredient
125ml vegetable oil
100g raw peanuts, skins on
60g ikan bilis
1 tablespoon caster sugar

Method

  1. Put the rice, ginger and water in a large pot over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes, or until the rice is mushy, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon and scraping the base of the pot to make sure no rice sticks to the bottom and burns.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the pork mince balls, put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well. When the congee is about ready, scoop up a tablespoon of pork mixture and drop it into the congee. Repeat until all the mince is used. Stir gently and let the pork balls cook for about 10 minutes in the congee.
  3. Season the congee with soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and white pepper. Add the century eggs and stir for 5 minutes. Keep the congee warm on very low heat until ready to serve.
  4. To make the extra condiments, heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the peanuts for about 1 minute until golden brown. Strain the oil into a bowl to be reused, and spread the peanuts on a tray lined with paper towel. Pour the oil back into the pan and reheat it. Now fry the anchovies for 2 minutes until crispy and golden. Drain the oil and spread the fried anchovies on the tray with the peanuts. Put the peanuts and anchovies into a bowl and sprinkle with the caster sugar, tossing to mix well. Serve on the side with the congee, perhaps with other accompaniments such as pickled cabbage and radish, and fermented spicy tofu.

Note

  • Century eggs, or hundred-year eggs, are usually chicken or duck eggs that have been preserved for many months in a mixture of clay, ash, salt and lime, which gives them a dark green, almost black colour, and an odour of sulphur and ammonia from the preserving. They are available from Asian grocers and usually come in a vacuum-sealed packet.
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