Binging with Babish: Congee from Mulan

Binging with Babish: Congee from Mulan


“Get your clothes on! Get ready! Got breakfast for ya.” “Look, you get porridge, and it’s happy to see you.” “Get out of there.” Hey, what’s up guys welcome back to “Binging with Babish.” Where this week we’re taking a look at the “congee” from “Mulan.” A simple porridge made from that most abundant of foodstuffs, rice. I’m sorry for the relatively simple recipe this week, but despite having a lot of fun meeting you guys at Vidcon, it pushed my production schedule into the day before you’re watching this very episode. But I still think we can have fun with this recipe. Let’s start by making a “barebones” congee; that is, a ratio of 6 to 1 cups water to rice, so that’s 6 cups of water to one cup of long-grain jasmine rice that we’re going to bring to a bare simmer, partially cover and cook for one and one half hours until the rice is totally broken down and becomes a thick, creamy porridge. Now during the cooking process you may notice that the water evaporates too quickly, If so, add more water, a cup at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. It should look like, well, porridge. And while its viscosity is entirely up to your preference, do not eat this without seasoning heavily with salt and pepper. Now it’s time for the smiley face bacon which I attempted to cook in the shape of a smile but as you can see they just sort of naturally straighten out as they cook. But, when you take them off the heat and let them cool on a paper towel, this is when you can shape them to the appropriate specification. And while the bacon drains, it’s time to address eggs. Now Mushu’s a very small guy and he’s serving the congee in a very small bowl. So I think that this means quail’s eggs, which have a very thick inner membrane so they can be a little tricky to crack; just pierce them with a knife and carefully crack them open into your awaiting skillet filled with bacon fat. Simply cook them sunny-side up until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny and then it’s time for presentation. Let’s start with a generous helping of our congee. In this, its most basic form, perhaps the blandest foodstuff known to man — so it’s a good thing we’ve got a few bacon fat fried eggs and some bacon. And look at that, your breakfast is smiling at you. I have to admit, I am charmed. In fact, this little guy is just so cute, I don’t know if I can bring myself to eat him — ah, no I’m gonna eat him. I’m gonna eat his old face. And while of course the bacon and eggs are nice, once they’re done, this is a really, really, bland porridge so we need to go back to our building blocks to make something a little bit more exciting. We’re also gonna see if we can drastically cut down on our cook time by employing the use of a pressure cooker. We’re gonna keep the same liquid to rice ratio of 6 to 1 but this time we’re gonna use homemade chicken stock. Alternately, you can just add some chicken parts to the pressure cooker as it cooks, then you get some nice shredded chicken at the end. I’m also gonna add a one-inch knob of ginger, finely chopped and one clove of garlic, finely chopped. As usual, do not season until the end of cooking. Put this guy on high pressure for 30 minutes, quick-releasing the pressure and generously seasoning with salt and pepper and now it’s time to start focusing on additional congee accoutrement — contoucherment? What? Sorry, we’re frying some thinly sliced garlic and thinly sliced shallots in a little bit of vegetable oil and draining on paper towels, slicing up some green onion and bringing a couple other new friends to the party. As you can see the chicken stock made for a darker brown congee, if you don’t wanna do that, add the chicken parts as I described earlier, or you can make a lighter colored stock by not frying your chicken parts before simmering. We got a bigger bowl and that calls for bigger eggs. I’ve got 2 sunny-side up eggs here, and we need a bigger bacon smile and since they don’t really make bacon much bigger let’s just double up. And now how about some sautéed shitake mushroom eyebrows that’s both cute and delicious. But, before it gets too cute, let’s give him a little scallion beard. Which to me sounds like it could be a pirate antagonist from “Candyland” or something. And how about some black sesame seed pupils that’s sure to make it more realistic and a little creepy. Some pickled ginger ears for further anatomical correctness and some curly, crispy, shallot hair. What else does this guy need, uh, how about a nose? Let’s do a crispy, fried garlic chip nose, since that’s probably the smelliest ingredient. And then peanut, uh, peanut, um, uh, peanut, I don’t know but the guy’s got peanuts in his beard. A few dots of delicious, sriracha acne. And that’s just about as many facial features as we can give this thing. I gotta admit he’s pretty cute, and I have much higher hopes for how good he’s gonna taste. I know that Mushu used his chopsticks in the movie but I’m gonna opt for a spoon, because congee is not very chopstick friendly. And, as predicted, this is pretty friggin delicious. It’s a flavorful and anthropomorphic breakfast that I can really get behind. And he would definitely join the clean plate club if he wasn’t so darn cute. I think I’m gonna call him “John von Congee.”

100 Comments

  1. Wow! You're really think outside of the box, unlike some chefs who are very picky and you have to get used to the flavor, one time a chef got really pissed off of me because I put a pinch of paprika on a hollandaise sauce, I guess you live and you learn oh yeah, forgot you having trouble peeling Ginger use just a regular phone it's more easier that way.

  2. congee is shit. You call that porriage? fuck off. Get some oats mate. Fuckin oats, milk, brown sugar. Rice is bad for you and low in fiber. Oats > rice.

  3. That is Cantonese congee. the idea is to use it as the base, add beef you get beef congee, add seafood you get seafood congee, kinda like the dough and marinara sauce are the basic building block of a good pizza
    The other famous style congee is Chaozhou congee, unlike Cantonese congee which is cooked and then add ingredients. the Chaozhou style is cooked with the ingredient from the start. kinda like risotto.
    In my opinion, a shrimp and crab Chaozhou congee is the best congee. no contest.

  4. Can you make a sweet version ? Dont get me wrong i love salty tough breakfast . But i would be the one that would make it with Vanilla sugar ? I hate eating meat and heavy in the Morning . And i have an other question .. i reasonly bought “ Blue Spirilina “ but i cant find any smoothie recipes . Or any recipes at all . Can you please help me ? Xxx from the Netherlands ( Anne) Miekje 🥰😘😘😘❤️

  5. Nice attempt, especially congee part. However, in order to be more authentic, replace the eggs and bacon with cooked fish or beef or pork. Fish or beef or pork has to be cut into smaller pieces before putting into congee.

  6. "Do not eat this without seasoning heavily salt and pepper."
    Not always. If you've ever gone for late night congee, plain unseasoned congee is often the preferred preparation of it to go along side the greasy, rich, and/or fried side dishes. Also if you're using pepper, always white pepper.

  7. Please make the peach drink from James and the Giant Peach.

    I watched that movie a lot when I was younger. My mouth still waters thinking about it.

    Im sure I could just throw peaches and stuff in a blender but a generic smoothie recipe just wouldnt be the same, at all. I want to know that Babish attempted it and found the best texture possible.

  8. Bengalis have a similar thing we call kisuri or kichri, though we put tumeric and ginger in it along with salt , great to have when you're feeling under the weather

  9. Wow, that did look pretty bland lol. Yeah, we cook it with shredded chicken pieces and some clear chicken stock and on the side, some asian salad. Seriously delish and easy to digest.

  10. 1:53 :O Holy shit when make that i know i need to go grocery shopping soon, and to think after all this time i was eating like a princess even when i was at my brokest

  11. In Thailand there's another variant called jok, it's really delicious and my mom makes the best. It's a dish normally made by poor people in Thailand since rice and fish sauce is extremely cheap, and a small pot of rice can feed a whole family for days, but I always ask her to make some on the weekends. Waking up to a nice hot bowl of jok and porkballs is the best.

  12. Wow didn't realize what congee meant until I googled it…
    I have congee for breakfast everyday. Never tried adding bacon on it though.

  13. It’s also eaten when the rice gets old, it revitalizes all that rice for one last hurrah before it gets thrown out for a new fresh batch.

  14. Instead of going savory (and all out) like you did, I could see going a light sweet route on this, mixing in a cinnamon stick at some point, and some brown sugar, or a bit of maple syrup. With the cinnamon, I suppose it might taste a bit like Horchata.

  15. Congee is the best 🙂 I always make mine with honey sweetened pork for on top, (and chicken stock instead of water) and my mom just introduced me to Miso which really helps it pop!

  16. Apparently there’s a similar dish where you just crack an egg over the rice and then stir it into the steaming rice. Which cooks it. I’ll sometimes put rice that I made the night before into a skillet, bring it up to temp and then scramble in two eggs to make a bit more filling breakfast.

  17. You could put soy sauce on the rest of the porridge, that's what I do with the rest of my rice during breakfast.

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