Lasang Pinoy 22: Congee

This beautiful entry is written by Erwin Ines for Lasang Pinoy 22 – Rice to the Challenge hosted by Cooked from the Heart. Blogging from Toronto, Canada, this is Erwin’s 3rd time to join Lasang Pinoy. Read his other articles listed here.

Tubong Lugaw

Outside is totally white and blustery. Toronto is experiencing one hell of a storm today; the worst after nearly sixty years as the radio announced very early this morning. Unfortunately, today is a Sunday, and I’m scheduled to work, and I did. I worked for 3.5 hours from my usual 8 or 9; being cut off as customers slowly trickled into the restaurant. I expected to be cut. I volunteered to be cut. I anticipated it, but the idea of working 7 days a week for the next 3 weeks is beyond me. A few hours reprieve from the kitchen is a big sigh of relief. I also get the chance to clean my apartment; cook dinner and what have you.

Upon leaving work, I decided to pass by the liquor store and bought a couple of bottles of Soju, a strong Korean spirit that I’ve learned to drink on cold, nasty weather like this one. It’s also cheaper compared with Canadian Whiskey or Vodka. Soon, I know, I’ll be cooking with them. But whatever, wine just doesn’t cut it for me anymore. I’ve also thought of drowning myself in Rum maybe over the holidays just to keep myself warm and upbeat every morning when I wake up to do the same bloody routine again until the 31st. Jamaican Rum’s alcohol level is at 63%, much stronger than Soju, and sure does provide that healthy kick and punch, if drank moderately.

In Manila, where the climate is as hot and humid as a car’s muffler, some kind of deep-fried spicy food with white vinegar and an ice cold San Miguel provides that comfort. In my case, I’d stick to those hot egg noodle soups topped with beef or chicken and paired with the best tea in Manila’s Chinatown. They are just perfect before or after my weekly Tai Chi classes, next to Dim sum (chicken feet!!). One of my favourites however, is the Chicken or Plain Congee. It’s just magic, and I never knew how it was so easy to prepare, until now.

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