I am sorry you have a cold, just when the weather is getting nice too. I look at it as a real comfort food because it is similar to the Japanese Rice Porridge (Okayu) that I used to get as a child when I was sick.
Here is one from the Fresh Ways with Breakfasts and Brunches. Now you can substitute the beef with other meats . I have seen recipes with chicken, shrimp, pork, or even turkey. You can also add an egg in the congee and let it cook during the last 3-5 minutes before serving. It gets poached and is real nice addition.
Hope you are feeling better real soon.
3/4 cup long grain rice
4 cups stock unsalted brown stock or chicken stock
4 cups of water
1 T oil
6 garlic cloves
1/4 cup julienne fresh ginger
1/4 lb bean sprouts
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 lime , cut into 16 wedges
2 T sugar
1 t soy sauce
1 t salt
freshly ground pepper
1/2 lb beef tenderlion, trimmed of fat and cut into thin strips
3 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1/2" lengths.
Put rice and stock and water into a saucepand and bring liquid to boil. Stir mixxture then reduce the heat to medium, and simmer the rice uncovered. Until very soft and begins to break apart- about one hour
While the rice is cooking , heat the oil in a small dkillet over medium heat.Add the garlic, and cook it , stirring often, until it is crisp and brown. four to five minutes.
Transfer the garlic to a paper towel and let it drain. Put the garlic, ginger, bean sprouts, cilantro and lime wedges into small serving bowls and set aside.
About 5 minutes before serving, stir in the sugar, soy sauce, salt and pepper into the hot soup, Add the beef strips and scallions and bring the liquid to a boil . Reduce the heat to medium and simmer sthe soup until the beef is just cooked about 3 minutes.
Ladle the soup in the individual boels. Pass the garnishes seperately inviting the diners to season thier own soups.
I've heard that another name for congee (or for a similar dish) is joak. Here's Rhoda Yees' version from The Chinese Village Cookbook. It's not too far afield from jchicken soup and matzo balls, IMHO! I hope you're feeling better already.
1 cup long grain rice
5 quarts chicken stock
1 lb. ground pork
1 T dark soy sauce
1 tsp. salt
2 stalks green onion
12 water chestnuts
Rinse the rice two or three times. Soak overnight. Mince green onions and water chestnuts. Mix with the ground pork, soy sauce and salt.
Bring the stock and rice to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for two to three hours or until the rice breaks down completely and the soup becomes thick and creamy. Turn the heat up and add the ground pork mixture, shaping one teaspoonful at a time into a small ball and dropping it into the doup. Cook for 5 minutes or until the pork balls are done. Correct seasoning. Serve in individual soup bowls. Pass the condiments (listed below) for each person to choose his favorite toppings. Serves 4-8.
2-3 finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup tea melons (sweet cucumbers, chopped fine
1 bunch chopped cilentro
1/2 cup Szechwan turnips (or pickled mustard)
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
Basic congee, or jook, can be as simple 1/2 cup of short grain rice cooked in 6 cups of water until very soft -- about 3 hours -- over low heat. For more flavor, use a full-flavored stock instead of water. (I made stock from the Thanksgiving turkey that I smoke each year and we use the stock for jook the next day.) I like to flavor my jook with green onions, chilli sauce, and fried dough. When my wife is sick, she make okayu with plain water. She then eats it with umiboshi (pickled plums). If made with chicken soup, I guess one gout throw in a maztoh-ball or two.