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Summer Tomato Congee

We love traditional recipes here at ARCANISA, but we also appreciate some cultural experimentation and this congee recipe by Sandy Ho is a successful rendition of the latter. A comforting bowl of congee is transformed by the warmth of ginger and black pepper while fish sauce, miso, and tamari offer mouth watering umami flavor. Quarters of summer tomatoes, lime leaves, and cilantro add refreshing bites of brightness that round out this beautiful recipe.

Sandy Ho is an Australian professional chef and she graciously shared this recipe with CAP Beauty for their Behind Closed Doors series.



I love making this in the Summer because - TOMATOES! But also I really love rice all the time and this is filling but light and refreshing. You can use whatever is in season, add greens or mushrooms or change up the sauce if you don’t like fish sauce! Congee is great as a base for any bowl!

a bowl of congee with tomato slices, cilantro, and a variety of toppings



1/2 cup sticky rice or whatever starchy rice you prefer

2.5 cups water

1 T salt

1-2 inches ginger, smashed

4-5 turns fresh cracked pepper to finish

Tomato salad

2 tsp dark red miso

2 T tamari

1 T water

1/2 T fish sauce

1 clove garlic finely sliced

1 tsp sugar or honey

Juice of 1/4 lemon, I used fresh finger lime pearls from the farmer's market instead!

2-3 ripe summer tomatoes, I used a mixture of heirloom and cherry - cut into bite sized pieces

4-5 sprigs cilantro leaves or any soft herb you love

1 makrut lime leaf finely sliced

1. Add all ingredients for congee except the pepper into a saucepan and bring to a boil.

2. Turn down to simmer for 30-40 minutes, covered, until the grains start to burst open but are still intact. Stir occasionally.

3. Add all ingredients for tomato salad except for tomatoes, cilantro and lime leaf into a small bowl and mix well to combine.

4. Toss the remaining ingredients for the salad into the miso soy sauce and sprinkle with a little salt.

5. Check on your congee, discard ginger and add cracked pepper. You can add a little more water if it is too thick. You are looking for a loose rice soup consistency with the grains cooked through. 

6. Plate up! A couple of ladles of congee on the bottom of your bowl. Spoon over the tomato salad and the sauce. Enjoy!


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