West Meets East

April 17, 2014

Have I told you about how much I hated eating breakfast when I was a young Chung?

Not being a morning person made me loathe everything about the morning, especially breakfast foods. I force fed myself toast/cereal/eggos for so many years that finally by high school, I couldn't stomach the idea of eating any of them anymore. But I knew I had to eat something before I left for school since I would always get so hungry way before lunchtime. By senior year in high school, I was reheating Grandma's Korean soup with rice from dinner the night before just so I would enjoy eating before I embarked on a day of learning.
My leftovers breakfast isn't that unusual to Koreans, however. Koreans usually turn to a breakfast of rice and soup. Definitely no cereal and definitely no waffles. But oatmeal congee is a way of combining the West with flavors of the East.

Since I love mushy rice or other grains; aka porridge, risotto, congee, grits, etc, I knew this recipe for oat congee was meant for me.

I guess oat congee is just a fancy name for savory oatmeal. It cooks up really fast (in 4 minutes) and it's super filling. I add some grated ginger since my favorite congee in Chinatown is simply just mushy rice with ginger.

I also tried it using steel cut oats and it was just as tasty. I just used a splash of water to reheat it in the microwave to get the right consistency (instead of milk). (Here's a previous post on how to cook steel cut oats).

If I had known about this recipe over a decade ago, then I would've eaten my breakfast happily every morning.
Oatmeal Congee Breakfast for One adapted from the cooking channel
1 cup water
1/2 cup regular cooking oats (not instant)
splash of canola oil
handful of kale or spinach or other greens
1 tsp grated ginger
1 egg
1-2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
splash of chili oil
splash of sesame oil
chopped green onion
1. Heat water in saucepan to boil and then add in oats. Cook for 4 minutes and stir occasionally. Add more water if oatmeal is too thick (should be on the watery side of consistency). Keep warm and set aside.
2. Heat skillet and add canola oil. Add in kale or other greens and cook until wilted, several minutes. Add grated ginger and stir. Remove and set aside.
3. Return to skillet and add another splash of canola oil and fry egg to desired doneness.
4. In a bowl, add in oats then top with greens and egg. Then add in soy sauce, chili and sesame oils and green onion. (Feel free to add other toppings of choice. I know the Chinese love adding pork floss to their congee). Enjoy!

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