Rice porridge topped with fried crispy wontons and chopped cilantro.
Ton Kiang, San Francisco
My first congee experience was horrible and I’ve never liked this Chinese rice porridge since. I was in the San Francisco Chinatown and had walked into a random Chinese restaurant where everything was written in Chinese except for a few menu items tacked onto their walls, one of which was congee. I ordered the chicken congee without really knowing what it was. When I received the HUGE bowl of white rice porridge, I was so disappointed. There are a few textures I really don’t enjoy and runny, slightly slimey, slightly thick and gelatinous porridge with bits of things floating in it is one of them, lol! I took a few bites, left the restaurant, and have never tried congee since.
…Until my trip to Ton Kiang! And I must admit, that it wasn’t half bad this time around. It still took some mental tricks on my part to try it, but I believe that I almost enjoyed it. I think this version was thinner than the previous and didn’t have any mysterious ingredients hiding inside. The crispy wontons and cilantro also helped to disguise the porridge texture and added some familiar flavors. I’m not going to start ordering congee on a regular basis, but at least now, I know I can somewhat enjoy it! 🙂
7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2010, 2011, 2012