I love dim sum. My friend Lisa and I meet up once a week or once every other week for lunch at our favorite dim sum spot. There’s something about dumplings I find very comforting. Pork and Preserved Egg Congee, also known as Jook or Porridge is a common item you’ll find at a lot of dim sum restaurants. I used to love ordering this dish but by the time when I’m done eating, I’m already halfway full which doesn’t leave me a lot of room for other dishes. I now make them at home whenever I have a craving. It’s usually when I’m under the weather or when the weather is gloomy. Neither was the case today, I just felt like having something soothing.
Preserved egg, also known as century egg, or thousand-year-old egg, or pídàn is a Chinese cuisine ingredient made by preserving duck, chicken or quail egg in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months (source: Wikipedia). The egg yolk has a soft creamy texture, while the egg “white” has more of a rubbery texture. This may sound unappetizing or undesirable but it imparts a great deal of flavor into the dish. This is what the egg looks like.
Preserved eggs can be purchased at any Chinese market or through Amazon. This dish is usually eaten as a breakfast or brunch food, but I eat it for dinner all the time. :)
- 1/2 pound of ground pork (not lean)
- olive oil
- 1 leek, sliced
- 1 cup of medium-grain rice
- salt to season
- 5-6 cups of water
- 3 preserved eggs, diced
- scallion, finely chopped (optional)
- fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (optional)
- white pepper
In a medium size pot (I used a 3 quart stock pot) over medium high heat, add olive oil and ground pork. Crumble and brown pork. Add leek and sauté them until soft, about 1-2 minutes. Add rice. Lightly sauté the rice until it has absorbed most of the pork juice, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt. Add water (start with 5 cups and see if you’ll need that last cup at the end if the consistency isn’t to your liking) and continue to stir. Turn the heat down to medium low, cover and let the rice simmer for 40-45 minutes. By then, most of the water will have been absorbed. Stir the porridge and see if the consistency is to your liking. If not, add more water (5 cups was fine for me). Stir in preserved eggs and let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes. At this point, the porridge is ready. Check for seasoning. Add chopped scallions and cilantro, if desired and sprinkle some white pepper.