Combining soft slow-cooked rice with earthy mushrooms and soy infused radishes, silky mushroom congee with roasted radishes is a big hug in a bowl.
This recipe for silky mushroom congee with roasted radishes takes me to such a happy place; it is a perfect bowl of comfort. Our little corner of the world is wet and cold and while my skin tingles every time I walk out the door I have continued training for a half-marathon. With each step my mantra has changed from “I can do this, I can do this” to “You’re an idiot, you’re an idiot.” After a run and a deliciously hot shower this congee is such a blessing, it’s warmth radiates through the clay bowl to my frost gnarled fingers. It’s just like a big old hug.
Rice cooked in stock doesn’t sound terribly sexy, I know, but slow cook the rice in good quality stock and a sort of alchemy occurs. Somewhere on it’s journey to deliciousness, the rice and stock combine to create a smooth, almost silken consistency. Add garlic, ginger and sesame oil to the mix and this rice dish gets terribly sexy, you know…for a bowl of rice.
I paired this congee with earthy mushrooms and a side of slighty salty roasted radishes. Congee plays well with so many foods such as pickles, kimchi or sautéed vegetables but we have recently planted radishes and I was super excited to begin experimenting.
I am so glad I did. Raw radishes have a sharpness that can be overpowering in any dish but roasting them changes their modus operandi. Roasted radishes are subtle with just a hint of their former heat combined with a slight sweetness. While they could easily be pickled to offset the creaminess of congee, I am a roast radish convert.
This congee recipe screams comfort, simplicity and balance. The combination of sweet, slightly tart radish, creamy rice and earthy mushrooms creates a full, balanced bowl that satisfies but doesn’t overdo. Happy places should always be so easy to find.
After shooting these images, the husband and I sat in our window seat with the rain washing over the windows and ate the spoils of our work. Outside even the trees appeared to shiver but inside our little nook, bowls of silky mushroom congee with roasted radishes in our hands, the world was toasty and warm. In that moment before we remembered one of us had to pick the elf up from playgroup, I enjoyed a perfect Winter moment. I also enjoyed winning Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who picked up the elf. Simple pleasures.
Silky Mushroom Congee with Roasted Radishes
- 1 cup medium grain rice rinsed well
- 8 cups chicken-style vegan or vegetable stock
- 2 tbs grated young ginger
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sunflower
- 1 pinch salt
- 6 swiss mushrooms washed and sliced
- 3 spring green onions, sliced finely
- 1 teaspoon tamari
- 1 bunch fresh radish washed, leaves removed
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sunflower
- 1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
- a pinch of sea salt
- To make the congee, heat the sunflower and sesame oil slightly.
- Add the garlic, ginger, rice and stock and bring to a soft boil.
- Turn the heat down to very low and cook for 1 hour or until soft and silky, stirring every 10 minutes. I cooked mine to a loose, soupy consistency but you can cook longer for a firmer version. Add a pinch of salt if needed.
- To make the radishes, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- In a small roasting pan toss together the sesame and sunflower oil, the radishes and sea salt.
- Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Toss through the soy sauce and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle with a small handful of the sliced spring onions and set aside.
- In a small sauté pan, heat a dash of sunflower oil and sauté the mushrooms with a pinch of salt until cooked.
- To serve, spoon a ladle of congee into a bowl. Top with the fried mushrooms and a good pinch of sliced onions.
- Slice the roasted radishes in half and place on top. Drizzle with a tiny amount of tamari and serve.