Congee is a very popular food in many Asian countries. Somebody calls it “Congee Soup” and others calls it rice porridge. It is made from mixing boiling water with raw rice. The density of congee depends on different countries and culture. Lots of people think that the earliest appearance of congee is when there was famine or war. NO! That’s definitely wrong. The earliest we find the story about congee was around year 618 in Tang Dynasty (唐朝), China. The King at that time used congee for medication.
The earliest definition of Congee was written in the book called The Garden Menu by Yuan Mei:
It is not congee if you see only water but not rice, and see only rice but no water. Congee has to be mixed water and rice harmoniously, softly and smoothly. 「見水不見米，非粥也；見米不見水，非粥也。必使水米融洽，柔膩如一，而後謂之粥。」－ 袁枚《随园食单》記載
In Toronto, there are lots of different restaurants specialize in congee. The one that BiliBala recommended is called Sam’s Congee Delight (黃三記). They do not only make congee. They also have a huge menu of food which is made by rice, for example, rice noodle roll（豬腸粉）and noodle. Rice noodle is kind of dim sum which is originally from south of China. It is usually filled with different ingredients such as shrimp, pork, beef, vegetables, etc. The hardest part is that the chef needs to use bare hands to roll the extremely hot rice noodle sheets quickly into a roll. The skill is to make sure the sheets won’t break. Not many young people will do this anymore as it required a long time to become proficient.
The menu in Sam’s Congee is big. They have 90+ types of congee and most of them are less than $5 per bowl. Usually, 2 persons can share one bowl and you can order some rice noodle roll as a side. One last thing is that you have to try out the fried snack. The Dough stick is a perfect match with the congee. Crispy and Yummy!
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Name: Sam’s Congee Delight (黃三記)
Address: 4390 Steeles Ave E B57, Markham, ON L3R 9V7 (Located inside Market Village 城市廣場)