Pork bone congee or “gee gwut jook” in Cantonese phonetics, is a simple rice congee dish flavored with a meaty pork bone stock.My mom's pork bone congee soup goes back to as long as I remember it as a little kid and is just as good now as it was then!
Course: Soups and Stocks
3poundspork back bones(cut into 2-inch pieces, washed, and drained)
2piecesdried squid or 2 pieces dried conch or 3 large dried scallops)(smashed into small pieces, optional)
Rub the pork bones in 1 tablespoon of salt and marinate for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight, in the refrigerator.
Put the marinated pork bones in a large pot with 4½ quarts of water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Skim off any foam with a spoon or a fine-meshed strainer, and discard.
Next add the dried squid/conch/dried scallops (if using), cover the pot loosely, and turn the heat down to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for 4 hours.
Taste the soup and re-season with salt if needed. Add the soaked rice and simmer for another hour. If you decide to use Judy’s method for 20-minute Congee, then all you need is an additional 30 minutes after adding the grains!
One point I’d like to make here is that the texture and consistency of congee is a very personal thing. Some like their congee cooked like a gruel, where you can’t see any signs of individual rice granules at all. Others prefer the rice granules cooked until they just open up or “blossom like a flower,” to use the literal translation of a Chinese expression. Finally, some prefer it thick and others prefer it thin. This recipe yields a thick congee, where the rice is cooked until it blossoms like a flower. But once you’re familiar with this congee recipe, feel free to adjust the amount of water and/or rice according to your own preferences!
At this point, give your congee another taste, and add additional salt to taste. Ladle the congee into small bowls, and serve with chopped scallion, cilantro, and pepper.