Congee, Shi-Fan (literally, rice water) or Jook. Whatever name you give it, rice porridge has been the foundation of nutritional healing since…well, we started playing with fire and cooking.  It is my first recommendation for anyone who is weak or ill, whether young or old.

Congee is a eaten by millions as a breakfast food. The simple gruel is served with a variety of side dishes, shredded vegetables and fish, shredded meats and pickles. Besides being a great morning start, congee is a fantastic healing food. It’s simply rice and water or maybe broth. Other ingredients may be added to create a specific result.

Sounds boring right? Sometimes simplicity is the best approach to healing. I always consider the client’s digestive vitality first in any treatment. If they have problems absorbing nutrients for whatever reason, be it illness, chemo or radiation treatment or constitutional weakness, they will not transform the food they eat into healing Nutrient Qi. In these cases, simple foods cooked for a long period place less of a burden on the digestive system.

Enjoy blessed simplicity – April

Basic Congee (Shi Fan, Jook)
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4-6 hours
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4-6 hours
Basic Congee (Shi Fan, Jook)
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4-6 hours
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
4-6 hours
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
The basic congee pot
  1. In a medium pot, combine the rice and water or both. Add in one or two other desired ingredients from list below. Bring to boil and allow to simmer between 2 - 6 hours. Okay, honestly, you don't have to cook it that long, but I guarantee you will absorb it better the longer it is cooked.
Consider adding in an ingredient
  1. Aduki beans - Great for gout. Aduki beans dry dampness (edema and phlegm). They treat Kidney and Bladder problems, like retention.
  2. Black sesame seeds & honey - Jing (essence) nourishing. Grind or crush the sesame seeds first. I enjoy this congee with a few roasted pine nuts and drizzle of honey.
  3. Carrot - Good for chronic indigestion and diarrhea.
  4. Celery - Cooling, reduces hypotensive conditions like Liver Yang Rising, ringing in the ears and hot tempers.
  5. Dry ginger - Diarrhea and vomiting from cold conditions, anorexia, nutritional impairment.
  6. Fennel - Use for nausea and vomiting. Fabulous for stimulating digestion and appetite
  7. Fresh ginger - Cold and flu with chills.
  8. Leek - One of my favorite foods to reset the metabolism. Leeks warm and tonify the digestion they also treat chronic diarrhea.
  9. Marrow stock (use in place of water) - Wonderful for anemia and Blood deficiency. Tonifies qi, blood, deeply nourishes.
  10. Mung bean - Cools summer heat (heat stroke), cuts fevers.
  11. Onion or scallion -  Clears phlegm, opens the sinuses and lungs, clears out colds, treats diarrhea. Use for allergies and chronic phlegm problems.
  12. Pumpkin - I use about 2 cups. Excellent for overall healing and strengthening the Stomach and Spleen. Warming, grounding and drains dampness. Regulates blood sugar. Eat more pumpkin.
  13. Radish - Cools fevers and heat in the digestive tract. Use with ulcers, GERD, and also allergies.
  14. Sweet rice - Tonifies the Stomach, Spleen and body overall.
  15. Spinach - Harmonizes and moistens the organs, sedates and lowers rebellious Qi (GERD, acid reflux).
Recipe Notes

Who can benefit from congee? Anyone. I've seen it work wonders with toddlers on acid reflux medicines to seniors battling dementia and those just fighting the common cold. There is no magic, it is just simplicity.

Healing benefits of congee. Rice is neutral to warming, and very few people are allergic to rice. It tonifies the Qi and Blood and harmonizes the Middle Burner (your digestive system), the Stomach and the Spleen. Water balances our PH, detoxes and nourishes Yin.

 

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