Other Congee/Porridge Accompaniments
People often ask the question “What goes well with congee?”
Porridge, in general, is considered a staple food in both China and other Asian countries, and Chinese are known to accompany their other staple foods such as rice or noodles with all kinds of astonishing dishes which later formed the world-famous Chinese cuisines. Why wouldn’t they have some porridge accompaniments?
The answer is: indeed, they do!
1. Congee Side Dishes
Compared to exquisite main dishes in Chinese cuisines, congee side dishes are simple pairings that are packed with flavors. As an iconic comfort food, people often revert to congee when they would like something simple, light, yet flavorful. Accompanied by some cold dishes such as sesame seaweed salad, or some stir-fries such as green chili and dried shrimp stir-fry, one can fully enjoy the original flavors of fresh congee and its savory ingredients yet still has the option to spice things up a bit if so desires. If you ever feel like changing things up a little bit, try one of our simple congee pairing dishes. We have an extensive collection of 25 delicious pairing dishes under Congee section.
2. Salted Duck Eggs
Salted duck eggs are preserved eggs made by soaking duck eggs in salt-water brine for 30-40 days or packing them in salted charcoal. The egg whites are extremely salty after this process and often consumed together with plain rice porridge in China, while the egg yolks are prized delicacies. Well-made salted egg yolks are golden orange in color, savory and creamy in flavor. They are often used in Chinese mooncakes as a filling and some dim sum custard buns recipes also utilize them as filling ingredients. Our heavenly succulent carrot custard buns recipe is one of these yummy treats. Salted duck eggs are often halved when served as a congee accompaniment to show the beautiful egg yolk engulfed by salty egg whites.
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3. Century Eggs
Century eggs are another popular porridge accompaniment. In fact, diced century eggs often serve as a popular topping in Cantonese congee, sometimes even as a critical ingredient in some recipes such as pork and century egg congee. As another type of preserved egg, both the overall appeal and flavor are quite distinct from salted duck eggs. Through the preserving process, the egg white becomes a translucent dark brown jelly while the egg yolk becomes dark green in color with strong unique flavors. Many Chinese love it, but it can certainly be an acquired taste and is among many westerners’ feared food list next to chicken feet. However, when listing the top choices for rice porridge accompaniments, one cannot omit the century eggs!
4. Youtiao (Chinese Fried Dough)
As one of the few rare favorites shared by both northern Chinese and southern Chinese, youtiao is a typical breakfast item. Not surprisingly plain rice congee is another shared love among Chinese across different regions. There are many names for youtiao, such as Chinese fried dough, Chinese fried churros, Chinese oil stick, and Chinese doughnut. Deep-fried in oil, authentic youtiao are golden brown and crispy outside with a soft slightly salty dough inside. They are often consumed with plain rice congee in the morning. Another popular option is to have freshly fried youtiao with some hot sweet soy milk. The overall experience is indescribable in nature.
Now you’ve reached the end of our guide for the 12 must-known topping and accompaniments to enhance the taste of congee. Here at Unfamiliar China, we certainly have learned a lot through the writing and researching process. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of how to make better congee in general and some of the intricacies behind it.
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