JG rounded out the semester with an absolutely divine damp heat-draining congee. (A congee is a rice-based porridge, slow-cooked with a lot of water, that is particularly beneficial to the middle jiao–the spleen and stomach.) When you hear the word congee, you usually think “bland bland bland.” When you think of foods that typically drain damp, you think “bland bland bland.” I cannot tell you how much further from “bland” this wonderful congee was! Slow cooked for 7+ hours, JG added the perfect amount of seasonings without comprising this dish’s ability to clear heat. I must admit I have several bowls of this…and I stopped only at “several” to uphold my dainty, lady-like reputation (*ahem*).
TCM DOS: Damp heat
Western Correlations: leukorrhea, jaundice, eczema, psoriasis, boils, hepatitis, tenesmus,
dysentery, UTI, conjunctivitis, ear infection with yellow/green discharge, bronchitis/pneumonia
with coughing up yellow phlegm,
TCM s/s: yellow discharge (c/b foul odor) of genitals, ears, eyes, nose; yellow phlegm when
coughing; skin rash that is red & oozy; loose stool with blood, mucus, and/or foul odor; ascites
Tongue: red, thick yellow & greasy coat
Pulse: rapid, slippery
Foods that help: aduki beans, alfalfa, amaranth, basmati rice, celery, Job’s tears, lettuce, mung
bean, pumpkin, turnip
Foods to avoid: alcohol, greasy, fatty, fried, foods; hot, spicy foods/spices (think ginger, onion, garlic, etc); nuts; oats; beef, chicken egg, lamb, pork; dairy; excess sweets; excess raw fruits/vegetables
Helpful cooking methods: If patient has weak digestion make sure to steam, boil, roast vegetables for easy digestion.
Damp Heat-Clearing Congee
• 2 cups rice; basmati not recommended because it doesn’t brake up ( I used Lundberg Wild
• 12 cups vegetable broth
• 6 cups water
~About 1 cup rice to 5-10 cups water/broth. Thicker congee: 1:5 rice:water/broth
Soupy congee: 1:10 rice:water/broth. It’s better to use too much water/broth, then too little.
• 4 bay leaves (for ﬂavor only, not to be eaten)
• Salt to taste
• Cumin 1/4-1/2 tsp
• Garlic powder 1/8-1/4 tsp (caution: just to taste because to warming for damp heat)
4 tops of carrots only (used for medicinal purpose only, not to be eaten)
1 cup fresh diced pumpkin (7oz = 1/2 can canned pumpkin)
1 cup fresh diced sweet potato/yam
1 can (15oz) rinsed aduki beans
1 stalk celery, cut into smiley face
• Place rice, vegetable broth, water, bay leaf, salt, cumin, garlic powder, carrot tops in crock pot and cook on low heat for 7 hours (can cook on higher setting for approximately 5 hours, but “the longer congee cooks, the more powerful it becomes”~ Paul Pitchford)
• Add pumpkin, sweet potato/yam, aduki beans, & celery to congee and cook for an additional 1-2 hours when the congee is thick, rice is fully broken down, and vegetables are tender.
• Congee itself is good for dampness, heat conditions, & tonifying the spleen
• Pumpkin is cooling and relieves damp conditions
• Sweet potato/yam is cooling and strengthens the spleen
• Aduki beans detoxify the body, remove heat conditions, & are used for damp & watery conditions
• Celery is cooling, dries damp, & used for excess heat conditions
• Carrot tops are good for damp conditions
*Amazing website for congee beneﬁts, preparation, cooking methods, properties of grains, legumes, meats, herbs, vegetables, and fruits that could be used, and it list different recipes for different TCM diagnosis.
Check it out:
The Journal of Chinese Medicine Read Periodicals: Congee – Longevity Food for Life, 2/1/2010