Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chinese Congee Using Steelcut Oats

It turns out the pressure cooker is an excellent way to make a healthier version of Chinese congee using steelcut oats.  I had already been eating savory versions of oatmeal, but after writing my post about this, I started wondering if it would be possible to incorporate sweet potatoes into the dish.  Red sweet potatoes would be prettier; I bought these in the Chinese grocery store thinking they would be red, but they're actually yellow ones.  Tasty though!  The toppings I like to include are seaweed paste, fried ground swordfish, sardines in tomato sauce, fried gluten with peanuts.  You can basically find these in the canned food section in your Chinese grocery.  It's entirely possible all of these things would be acquired tastes for those not reared by Asian immigrant parents.

I think overall I like the pressure cooker over the slow cooker for steelcut oatmal.  It's also quite easy to make a large batch and it's so fast!

Steelcut Oatmeal
1 cup steelcut oatmeal
5 cups water
1 sweet potato, skinned and cubed (not too small)

Throw everything into the pressure cooker.  When it comes up to pressure, let it go for 5 minutes and then turn off the flame and allow the pressure to release on its own. 

The oatmeal looked super soupy at first, but after it cools down and especially after chilling, it is nice and congee-like.  For non-congee applications (ie. to eat with brown sugar without sweet potato), I would probably like a more nubbly texture so I might try playing with the times and tweak water ratios a bit.

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