As previously noted in one of our recent newsletters, congee is a nourishing and comforting porridge, regarded to be particularly beneficial for its recuperative properties, often enhanced with herbs for specific functions that are added to the porridge while cooking. Rice is considered a Qi and Yang tonic. This particular recipe nourishes the skin by tonifying the Blood, preserving Yin fluids and helping to heal skin that has been damaged from UV exposure and causing things such as so-called “old age spots.”
Job's Tears, commonly made into many congees for convalescence, are sweet and bland, entering the Spleen, Lung and Kidney channels. The primary functions of Job’s Tears are to strengthen the Spleen and drain Dampness by promoting urination. White lotus seeds are sweet and astringent, tonifying the Spleen, Kidneys and Jing, while the two Qi tonics in the recipe, Chinese yam and Red dates, along with Goji fruit, also nourish the Yin and Blood to support and moisten the skin.
Enjoy this delicious recipe any time that you want to treat yourself to a delicious, easily digestible food and enhance your inner (and outer) beauty!
- 1 c Short-grained Asian rice
- 10 g Yi yi ren (Coix lachryma-jobi seed)
- 15 g Bai lian zi (Nelumbo nucifera seed), peeled, plumule removed
- 10 g Shan yao (Dioscorea opposite root), fresh preferred
- 8 pc Hong zao (Ziziphus jujuba fruit), pitted
- 15 g Gou qi zi (Lycium chinensis fruit)
- Rock sugar or honey to taste
- Rinse and soak rice in cool water for 1 hour, drain
- Rinse and soak Yi yi ren and Bai lian zi in cool water for 3 hours, drain
- Wash and peel fresh Shan yao, slice (if using dried slices, rinse and cook for 1 hour, drain)
- Rinse Hong zao and Gou qi zi. Soak in warm water and set aside (remove pits from Hong zao after soaking)
- Bring a pot of 8 cups of water to a boil.
- When water boils, slowly pour in rice, stirring in one direction. Keep stirring until water becomes milky white and the rice grains have puffed out (about 5-8 minutes)
- Add other ingredients (including soaking water of Hong zao and Gou qi zi)
- Bring to a boil then lower heat so that congee is lightly bubbling for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid ingredients sticking to the bottom of the pot. (If you prefer thinner congee, add boiling water to the congee as it cooks.)
- Add rock sugar or honey to taste.