Running Forward

Congee for Me

on July 1, 2012

The day started with a bowl of cornflakes and a run along the East River. I will never get used to the beauty of the city next to the sparkling water. The scenery amazes me every time. After a much-needed shower, I stocked up on food at Trader Joe’s and made lunch plans with a friend from school. I’ve heard about congee and wanted to try it, so today was the day! My friend, Robin, is Chinese, so it was the perfect opportunity for her to teach me all about the culture. Around noon I walked down to Congee Village where we met up with each other and ordered our congees. The soup only cost $4, so we decided to have some fun and order dim sum. I ordered the boiled buns and Robin ordered scallion pancakes. Of course, we shared everything. Originally, I had my eye set on the vegetable congee, but Robin informed me that I needed to try one with preserved egg involved. So, I was able to modify and ended up with the vegetable congee with preserved egg. It was so different from any other food I’ve ever had before. They served the dish in a sturdy, clay pot that was just taken out of the oven. Congee is made from rice that has been cooked so long that it breaks down and becomes almost like a porridge. My bowl also contained carrots, green beans, scallions, ginkgo nuts, preserved egg, mushroom, and more.

The congee was comforting and so delicious! I especially loved it because it’s such a light dish, unlike the usual greasy stir fry. No guilt here!

The boiled bread was tasty too. They’re basically soft pillows of sweet bread that you dip into condensed milk. They were good, but I’m going to try something else next time.

The scallion pancakes were savory and tasted almost cheesy, but were a little on the greasy side for my taste. It was fun trying so many dishes though.

Afterwards, Robin gave me a wonderful tour of Chinatown and taught me all about her culture. I absolutely love learning about this stuff! We stopped along the way to pick up Korean melon, fresh tofu, and bakery goodies. Once we were finished, we ran some errands on 5th Avenue and rested for a bit at the Plaza. I swear, Sunday afternoon is my time to crash. I cleaned the dorm a bit and made myself a pretty tasty dorm room dinner. The carrots were dipped in tomato basil hummus, and the cucumber, squash, zucchini, and radishes were all bought at the Green Market in Union Square. So fresh and tasty! Just my style!

Here’s to Week #6!

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