You’ll be amazed at how few ingredients you need to make this delicious Vietnamese chicken congee – and even more amazed when you see how flavourful it is! Congee is a type of traditional rice porridge which is then customised with a selection of toppings – this version is topped with peanuts, poached chicken and crispy shallots, and still comes in at just 391 calories per serving.
- 1 small chicken, about 1.2kg
- 6 whole spring onions, trimmed
- 2 x thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger, crushed
- 150g Thai jasmine rice
- To garnish:
- Finely chopped spring onions (white and green parts)
- Fresh coriander leaves
- Coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts
- Crispy fried shallots (see tip)
Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the chicken (so it’s just covered by the water), the spring onions, 1 whole piece of ginger, crushed, and 1tbsp sea salt. Bring back to the boil (not a rollng boil) and cook for 15 mins. Take off the heat, cover the pan and let it stand for 30 mins or longer. Take out and leave until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, rinse the rice well under cold running water. Put it in a pan with 2ltr of the strained cooking liquid. Add the remaining piece of ginger, cut into thick slices. Bring to the boil over a high heat, lower to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for about 40 mins. The rice will have broken down to a porridge. Season with salt.
Take the meat off the chicken, shredding it with your fingers. Put it in a serving bowl.
Put garnishes in seperate bowls. Ladle hot congee into warm bowls, top each with a handful of chicken and grind ground black pepper over. Hand round garnishes for everyone to help themselves.
To make crispy fried shallots: Peel and thinly slice 2-3 banana shallots. Dry with a cloth. Deep-fry or shallow-fry in batches until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper. These will keep 2 days in an airtight container.