Clay Pot Fish Congee | Hu Moy
"Hu Moy" is my colloquial Penang Hokkien dialect meaning fish porridge or fish congee. "Hu" meaning fish, and "moy" mening porridge. Porridge or congee to the Chinese is make from rice grain. There are few different kinds of congee – the wet soupy type where you can still see and taste each of the rice grain or the thick starchy type where the rice grain is completely broken down until it’s mushy. There is the plain congee where it’s served with small Chinese dishes, or the “all-in-one” when the condiments are already added to flavour the congee.
I usually cook my congee using the leftover rice from the fridge and mash the rice slightly before cooking it. Since I didn’t have any leftover rice, I will cook the rice first before making my congee. I will show you how to 3 types of condiment to flavour the congee – fried garlic, dried shrimps and salted fish. The condiments can be prepared ahead of time and store in an air-tight container in a cool and dry place. They should store well for a few weeks.
Cook rice or use leftover rice
Cut fish into bite pieces and marinade
Mince garlic until really fine and then fry until golden brown in some oil on low heat
Wash and rinse salted fish. Cut into smaller bite pieces and then fry until golden brown in some oil on low heat
Using a clay pot, add cooked rice that has been cooled down and chicken stock to each rice grain is broken down
Add marinated fish slowly to cook
Sprinkle the fish congee with fried garlic and salted fish
How to make
Cook the rice. Soak 1 cup of rice with water in a small pot. After soaking for 2 hours, discard the water and wash rice twice under cold running tap water. Fill the rice with water. Cook the rice using a small pot or a rice cooker. Once rice is cooked, fluff the rice and set aside for later use to make the congee.
Remove the skin of ginger. Cut into thin slices. Stack up few slices at a time and slice into thin julienne. Set aside.
Remove the skin of garlic. Mince the garlic until it’s really fine. Heat up 1/2 cup of cooking oil in a shallow pan on low-medium heat. Once oil is warm enough (not hot), toss in the minced garlic and stir until garlic is lightly browned. Remove and place in a small bowl to cool down. Once cooled down, pour into an airtight container. This should keep for a few weeks in a dry, cool area in the kitchen.
Slice the fish fillet into thin slices. Marinade with 1/2 tablespoon ligh soy, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper, egg white (from 1 egg) and 1 tablespoon corn starch. Mix through. Then add some julienned ginger and mix through. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Pre-soak the dried shrimps and salted fish in separate bowls for at least 1-2 hours. Discard the water and rinse. Then let dry on a kitchen paper towel. Once dried, diced both the dehydrated shrimps and salted fish until quite fine, but not too fine. Set aside. Heat up a shallow pan with 1/2 cup cooking oil on low-medium heat. Once oil is warm enough (not hot), toss in the shrimps first. Give it a quick stir then toss in the salted fish. Continue stirring until both is lightly browned. Remove and place on a kitchen paper towel to cool down.
Using a clay pot, first place the cooked rice. Then add some julienned ginger, fried shrimps and salted fish. Pour some liquid or stock to cover the rice leaving at least 1 inch above the rice surface. Put more if you prefer more liquid in the congee. Cover with the lid.
Place on high heat to boiling temperature. Then lower the heat to medium heat. Keep checking to make sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the clay pot. Stir a few times. Make sure the lid is covered all the time. This should take 5-10 minutes to cook and break down the rice to a consistency of a starchy broth.
Once congee reaches the consistency that you are after, put in the marinated fish slices. Combine into the congee broth. Cover the lid and cook for 2-5 minutes until fish is cooked. Turn off the heat and remove from the stove.
Garnish with more julienned ginger, fried garlic, fried shrimps and salted fish. You can also add some chopped spring onions (scallions) if you like some green. Sprinkle a bit of ground white pepper. You can also drizzle a bit of sesame oil and light soy to your own taste.
white fish fillet
1 garlic bulb
2 tablespoons dried shrimps (optional)
1 small piece of salted fish (optional)
chicken stock or seafood stock
1 cup of cooked rice
ground white pepper