Pickled Congee with Tea Eggs
“Congee is prescribed any time that spleen chi—the energy that propels digestion and production of blood—needs to be replenished. It is a food of rebirth; its simplicity and clean taste feel so comforting in a weary or recovering body.”—Heng Ou
1½ cups white jasmine rice
½ cup white sticky rice
FOR TEA EGGS
12 large pasture-raised eggs
6 tablespoons soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg Liquid Aminos
2 teaspoons brown sugar or coconut sugar
1½ teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder
2 bags black tea
Make it your own with these optional toppings: sauerkraut, kimchee, pickles, minced green onion, extra soy sauce, watercress, chopped peanuts
For the white rice congee
1. Rinse the rice several times in water, covering the rice with water, then swirling it around, then draining and repeating several times until the water runs clear when you drain it.
2. In a medium pot, bring the uncooked rice with 1 quart water, or enough water to cover the rice by 1½ inches, to a boil over high heat.
3. When it comes to a boil reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, until the grains soften and open. You’ll want to stir often and keep checking and adding water if it’s been absorbed. Adding the sticky rice gives it an extra full texture.
For the tea eggs
4. Carefully put the eggs in a medium pot and add cold water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium high and keep at a rolling boil for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove from the heat.
5. Spoon the hard-boiled eggs into a bowl and rinse under cold water. (Do not discard the hot water.) Now roll the eggs gently on a flat surface to create light cracks across each egg, leaving the shells on and intact.
6. Return the eggs to the original pot of hot water and add the soy sauce, brown sugar, 5-spice powder, and the tea bags. Bring everything to a quick boil over medium heat, and once boiling, lower heat and simmer for 40 minutes, covered.
7. Turn off the heat and let the eggs marinate in the sauce for up to 6 hours at room temperature (or if you’re making these in advance, they can marinate in the fridge for up to 2 days).
8. Scoop the congee into your serving bowl and enjoy with the tea eggs and their savory sauce plus whatever optional toppings you like.
SERVES 4 TO 6