Butternut Squash Congee With Chile Oil
Congee comes in many textures and flavors, under a number of different names, and is eaten widely across East, South East and South Asia. This particular version of congee is not traditional to any region or cuisine, but is a seasonal interpretation, incorporating butternut squash for a warming, naturally sweet, earthy glow. The chile oil delivers a lively counter to the mellow nature of this congee, delivering both heat and savoriness. Using leftover rice gives you a hearty congee in just about 30 minutes, but make sure you give it a good stir at the end to further break up the rice and create a creamy finish. Butternut can be an unwieldy vegetable and many find it hard to handle, so try cutting it into smaller pieces before slicing the skin off with a sharp knife or peeler. Quicker still, opt for pre-cut cubes of butternut which can often be found at the supermarket.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2tightly packed cups leftover medium- or long-grain rice (preferably refrigerated)
- 1tablespoon neutral oil (such as canola)
- 1teaspoon kosher salt (such Diamond Crystal)
- 6cups vegetable stock
- 4garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1pound (about 1/2 small) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced in 1-inch pieces
- 1small piece kombu (optional)
- 2scallions, finely sliced
- Chile oil or chile crisp, for serving
Step 1Place the rice, oil and salt in a large pot and stir to combine, breaking up any clumps of rice. Add the vegetable stock, garlic, butternut squash and kombu (if using). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it boils, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Step 2Uncover and stir. Increase heat to medium and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the rice has broken down.
Step 3Turn off heat and discard any larger pieces of seaweed, though it is fine to leave them in. Using a wooden spoon, stir vigorously to break up the rice, butternut and garlic. Some of the butternut will stay intact, while some of it will break apart and impart a beautiful golden hue to the dish. Add salt to taste.
Step 4To serve, top with scallions, and a few drops of chile oil or crisp.