MAKES 6  SERVINGS• PREP TIME: 5 minutes • COOK TIME: 2 hours

Congee is an ancient Chinese porridge, dating back more than two thousand years. When Americans think about porridge, oatmeal comes to mind. This broth-based congee is thinner, but it’s stimulating and satisfying. It’s whole grain brown rice base is perfect for jump-starting digestion (some people even eat it for breakfast), and it’s a nice canvas for adding taste-enhancers ranging from scallions to cinnamon.

Prepare ahead:  Soak the rice in cool water and the juice of half a lemon for 8 hours or overnight before cooking;this will make its nutrients more available and decrease the cooking time.  If you don’t have time to soak the rice, add an extra cup of broth and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

1 cup soaked short grain brown rice
8 cups Old Fashioned Chicken Stock
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon tamari
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Optional garnish: toasted sesame oil, minced scallion, chopped cilantro  

In a heavy pot over high heat, add the soaked rice, ginger, salt and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook on low, covered, until a soft porridge like consistency is achieved, about 2 hours. Add more stock or water if it gets too thick. 

Add tamari, lemon juice and toppings of choice. 

COOK'S NOTE: Congee becomes even better the next day. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of broth to reheat.

Reprinted with permission from Clean Soups Copyright © 2016 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.