congee with yams and miso sauce


In January,

when the world freezes and we, layered

shuffle towards warmth, even

carrying it with us

whenever we can, looking forward


to the steamy stir of

a pot or the quick hot pulse of our hands

around a paper cup, or better yet


DSC_0031We talk about the cold,

unravelling our scarves.

and about how

everyone is chattering about it

as if they’d never seen a winter before.

We peel back each layer (releasing steam, too),

warm for now, sitting down

to eat.





  1. says

    I’ve been thinking about you, and congee, since New Year’s Day. My husband smoked a turkey breast and we had a good bit left over, so I simmered the carcass and stirred up my very first congee, inspired, no doubt, by your musings in this space and the fact that I’d never tried it before. I’m now a convert and ready to spread my wings into new flavor combinations like this one. Yam? Maple? Miso? Ginger? I’m there.

    Your poetry soothes.

    Stay warm.

    • alana says

      Funny how just rice could be such a revelation, but I guess that’s us catching up with the rest of the world, eh? I’d say you stay warm too, but instead, I’ll say- pick a lemon for me will you? Dreaming of California…

    • alana says

      And every time, it inspires a blush and a smile. I am as happy that you’re here, and there, and everywhere you are. xo

  2. says

    I made your congee with the ginger scallion sauce and we loved it. Now I have to try this one. My rice is simmering as we speak – will reheat it for supper and the other ingredients are waiting to go. I am craving this meal. You have introduced me to a new comfort food. Thank-you.

    • alana says

      Oh good! I’ll be forever indebted to my friend Janet for this one, and as someone wise once said- “If you can’t pay it back, pay it forward.” Glad I’ve done it!

    • alana says

      Margo, make sure you cook it until it thickens! Something really great happens to the flavor of the rice when it all dissolves, but before that, it’s just water-y rice. I’m not sure what the complaint was with your last congee, but try again! I hope this helps.

  3. wes says

    I grew up with congee, but we called it jook. Made with the leftover hambone or pork or chicken or turkey carcass, shiitake mushrooms, dried tangerine peel, salted preserved turnip and ginger; cooked and simmered until thick (you’re right about that being important) and then garnished with soy sauce, white pepper, sesame oil, chopped green onions and cilantro. YUM! Now, I sometimes add sriracha or sambal oelek. Your variation sounds intriguing, and I’ll ben trying it soon, maybe today!

  4. says

    sublime. I used brown rice instead of white and it took a heck of a lot of cooking – other than that though I’d say a huge success! and the miso sauce is officially a staple in my kitchen. it’s perfect.

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