And so the brown rice versus white rice continues in the house. With Speedy still declaring war against the not-so-smooth-and-creamy texture and mouthfeel of brown rice, the girls are just as insistent that it is healthier and they like it better. I’m the referee — when the girls aren’t home, I cook white rice; when they are home, I cook brown rice. That’s about the best arrangement that I can manage. It is just too impractical to cook both white and brown rice when everyone is home.
Now, we have this practice of feeding a sick family member anything he asks for except what the doctor specifically disallows. When Alex got sick, she asked for congee among other things. Because she is one-half of the pro-brown rice movement at home, I automatically cooked congee using brown rice.
In theory, of course, I knew that brown rice or white rice, if rice is cooked with more water than the grains can absorb, the result would be congee. In practice, I had never cooked congee with brown rice before.
What happened? Well, congee happened. But let me describe it.
Congee cooked with brown rice is just like congee cooked with white rice except for one thing — the mouthfeel is different. There is still that distinct texture that comes from the bran and the germ both of which have been removed from white rice. Other than that, congee cooked with brown rice is delicious.
Is the cooking method different? No, but there is an added step in the preparation. I soaked the brown rice prior to cooking. I placed the (rinsed and drained) brown rice in a bowl, added enough water to cover then let the grains soak (in the fridge) for several hours.
While the rice was soaking, I simmered a whole chicken with aromatics (onion, garlic, ginger, pepper and a bay leaf) and salt in a pot. Then, I strained the broth and cooked the rice in it. The aromatics were discarded, the chicken meat was shredded and added to the rice when it was almost done.
And that is congee cooked with brown rice.