1 cup jasmine rice or short- or medium-grain white rice
1 Tbsp. finely grated peeled ginger
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
4 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms
White or freshly ground black pepper
Chili oil (for serving; optional)
1 - Place 1 cup jasmine rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse in several changes of water until water runs clear. Drain. Transfer rice to a freezer-safe container and freeze overnight. If you use a plastic bag, don't toss it when you're done: Just rinse it out, let it dry, and save it for the future. (This step helps the rice break down faster when you’re cooking it, which dramatically reduces its cooking time. If you don’t have time to freeze your rice, that’s okay; you’ll just cook it longer in step 8.)
2 - Prepare your ingredients: 1 Tbsp. finely grated peeled ginger and 1 Tbsp. soy sauce in a medium bowl and let sit 10 minutes. Trim woody ends of 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, then cut into thin slices. Trim root ends off 4 scallions and thinly slice crosswise.
3 - Heat 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, 6–8 minutes.
4 - Reduce heat to medium-low, add half of sliced scallions (reserve remaining scallions for serving), and cook, stirring, until scallions are aromatic and fragrant but not browned, 1-2 minutes. Transfer mushrooms and scallions to a plate.
5 - Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in same saucepan over medium. Add marinated pork and cook, stirring once, just until it turns from pink and translucent to lightly browned and opaque, about 1 minute. Transfer pork to plate with mushrooms and scallions. It won’t be fully cooked through but that's okay—you'll return it to the congee later on.
6 - Add 7 cups water to saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add frozen rice (or unfrozen rice, if using) and return to a boil, stirring to prevent sticking. Scrape up any brown bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick, porridge-like, and rice has broken apart, about 20 minutes for frozen rice, and 1½ hours for unfrozen rice. If you are using a short- or medium-grain white rice (as opposed to jasmine), this time might vary.
7 - Stir mushrooms and scallions and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors have melded, another 5 minutes. Check the texture: If you want a thinner congee, add more water. If you want a thicker, more oatmeal-like texture, continue to cook, stirring frequently, until it reaches the desired consistency. Season soup with kosher salt and white or black pepper.
8 - Divide congee among bowls. Top with reserved scallions and chili oil, if using.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit