Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkin Congee with Pumpkin "Beignets" and Sesame-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Even though we are pressed for time, and on unfamiliar ground ingredient-wise, we are again dismissing submitting our niece's "squashed" food for this event. (We dismissed submitting it as our Joust entry.)

This event, of course, is Weekend Wokking.
This month's ingredient: pumpkin.

Although, I must say that what we're submitting is not too far off -- hee! But bear with us, our Weekend Wokking entry is really much more sophisticated than our niece's boiled and mashed squash.

I think.

We present to you our Pumpkin Congee with Pumpkin "Beignets" and Sesame-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

We do not usually make congee (sometimes called "rice soup" or rice porridge) at home, getting congee instead from kind neighbours and friends. Once in a blue moon, we'll make our Yaya's version of arroz caldo, a delicious concoction of chicken, vegetables and rice in a congee incarnation. One of these days, we'll whip up a potful of it.

Our entry, however, is inspired by the congee we get outside the home. We were debating whether to do a "breakfast" congee take or a "late night" congee take with our pumpkin. The congee for both versions stay the same, but the accompaniments differ.

Given the time constraint, we decided to go the breakfast route.

Pumpkin Congee

So let's make pumpkin congee. Actually, as evidenced in the photograph below, we used kabocha pumpkin and a small sugar pie pumpkin. (I put a piece of unpeeled kabocha in the pot for illustration purposes.)

Of course, as you know, we love these dump-everything-into-a-pot dishes. So that's what I did. In the pot went rice, diced kabocha and pumpkin, a couple of ginger pieces (which I didn't bother slicing) and a couple of pieces of dried scallops (on the right). Not pictured is the water.

I brought the mixture to a boil, then lowered the heat and covered. Easy, right?

We let it cook for perhaps about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Near the end, I was afraid that the rice in the congee looked very distinct and separate, so I mashed the rice against the side of the pot a few times. I think letting cook for even longer would result in "creamier" congee.

In the meantime, we got to work on the "breakfast" accompaniments.

Pumpkin "Beignets"

We actually thought of our Weekend Wokking entry before our Joust entry, so coming up with churros for our Joust entry was actually our way of using up our squash/pumpkin-flavored donut dough.

Chinese donuts -- you tiao -- are a traditional accompaniment to congee. Of course, I know that using choux paste isn't close to the traditional you tiao recipe, but hey, time constraints, remember? ;) Since we weren't using the conventional dough, I also couldn't make that distinctive you tiao shape. (Watch a video here.)

Hence, "pumpkin beignets" they must be called.

I made a choux paste dough flavored with squash/pumpkin purée. (For method, click here. For recipe, click here.) This time, I cut off a larger hole in my Ziploc bag-cum-pastry bag. Um, as you can see, the resulting shape isn't that attractive.

No matter. We would be cutting these up anyway. =)

Sesame-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Instead of the usual peanut accompaniment, we decided to go with toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch.

We simple drizzled a little of sesame oil onto the raw pumpkin seeds, then tossed it with salt. Into the (toaster) oven they went for a little bit, and they were ready.

To complete our breakfast congee, we decided to have more accompaniments. Some sliced century eggs (preserved duck eggs), some pork floss, and we have our very pumpkin breakfast.

Pork floss is the best! =D

Clockwise from top: pumpkin beignet, century egg, pork floss.

We were halfway through the pot of congee when I realized that I forgot to add the pumpkin seeds! I had to act quickly before all the congee was gone. I made another bowl with the pumpkin seeds this time (for photo purposes).

We really liked this! I've never had pumpkin congee before, although this idea came from our father reminiscing about congee with sweet potato.

Wow, congee with sweet potato, you say? Mmm.

(Please see recipe below for suggested accompaniments.)

eatingclub vancouver Weekend Wokking posts:
Ravioli "Caprese": Tomato, Basil, Bocconcini
Eggplant "Clafouti"
Pumpkin Congee w/ Pumpkin "Beignets" & Sesame-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Chicken, Broccoli and Cheese w/ Pipián Verde
Adobo Mushroom Tart
Duck and Orange Crêpes with Orange-White Wine Sauce
Almond Eggplant "Bisteeya" (Bastilla)
"Mashed Potato Beef Burger" (Red-skinned Potato Salad in Taiwanese Sacha Cheeseburger)
Korean Soybean Sprouts Pancake (Kongnamul Jeon)
Lemon Chamomile Tiramisu
Cilantro Horchata
Strawberry Cilantro Salsa, on Grilled Flank Steak
Duck Enchiladas with Chipotle Peanut Salsa
Clear Oxtail Soup with Corn, Cabbage and Potatoes
Beijing Pickled Cabbage
Salsa Romesco ("Queen of the Catalan Sauces!")
Aguadito de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup)
Bangus Belly à la Bistek (Milkfish Belly with Onions, Calamansi and Soy Sauce)
White Pork with Garlic Sauce, Two Ways (蒜泥白肉)
Mr. Zheng's Soupy Tomatoes and Eggs with Tofu (蕃茄雞蛋跟豆腐)
Steamed Fish and Tofu with Chinese Black Beans
Spinach and Cheese with Puff Pastry, Three Ways


Pumpkin/Squash Congee
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup rice
1 1/2 cup fresh pumpkin (or fall squash), in small dice
6 cups water
2 pieces ginger (approximately 2-inch pieces)
1-2 pieces dried scallops
salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and let it simmer for about 2 hours. Discard ginger pieces before serving, if desired.

This is akin to plain congee, so it should be served with various accompaniments such as you tiao (Chinese donut), pork floss, century egg, salted duck egg, peanuts, preserved turnips, bamboo shoots, preserved chili radish.

Or, one can serve this with such dishes as clams in black bean sauce, oyster omelette, any "spicy salt deep-fried" items, or any aggressively-flavored dish.

Wikipedia reference guides
Congee: Chinese
Congee: Filipino
You Tiao (Chinese Donut)
Century Egg (Preserved Duck Egg)
Pork Floss

Chow Times Pork Floss recipe
This is the only time I've seen anybody make pork floss.

We're submitting this recipe to Weekend Wokking, a world-wide food blogging event created by Wandering Chopsticks celebrating the multiple ways we can cook one ingredient.

The host this month is Ning of Heart and Hearth

If you would like to participate or to see the secret ingredient, check
who's hosting next month.

Check out
all Weekend Wokking Roundups.

We're submitting this to Culinarty's Original Recipes.

More information here.
The Round-ups here.


  1. I didn't think you could top the pumpkin churros but pumpkin beignets is even better! Thanks for getting it in under the radar. You're still ahead of me. ;) Phew! So far, no one's made my entry yet. Must catch up on posts so I can post mine.

  2. wow, what a breakfast! you guys are really outdoing yourselves with these squash recipes!

  3. This is really unusal, and looks really tasty.

  4. Very.Nice.Spread. Haven't had century eggs in a while.

  5. ooo, delicious. Although I might pass on the century egg

  6. Looks completely awesome. Love the beignets.

  7. Wandering Chopsticks:
    Can't wait to see what your pumpkin dish is!!

    Maybe we'll finally be comfortable with cooking with squashes. It's just the darn getting it open that's so hard! I'm always afraid of harming myself with my knife! ;)

    Fearless Kitchen:
    We don't usually have "breakfast" cingee at home, so this was a treat. Of course, we actually ate them for dinner instead of breakfast. =)

    Thank gooness for the green color of the seeds, or else this whole dish would be too orange! ;)

    Oh! Besides dipping in hot chocolate, you also stuff the inside of the churros with chocolate. Wow.

    Alex Rushmer:

    Actually, I don't eat century eggs. Teehee. Or at least, I haven't eaten them in recent memory. (JS eats them.) So CSC and I decided to finally "try" them, but first we peered down and looked at it with curiosity: "What does it taste like?"

    Well, I tasted it! And well, it just tastes like egg! =)

    matt wright:
    Thanks, Dough + Hot Oil equals =D.

  8. this one is super creative and inspired! congee is definitely an acquired taste... this is an interesting way to amp it up. i give you the "creative blog post of the week" award.

    btw - i just made that award up. there ain't no logo for this award!

  9. This is a very creative use of pumpkin. I would never have thought of pumpkin congee with century eggs and pork floss. My MIL likes sweet potato congee also. I tried it once, it is very bland - just white congee with chunks of cooked sweet potato.

  10. This looks so delicious and it reads so well too. If i saw it on a menu somewhere i would definitely order it. Must be the pumpkin 'beignet' thing!

    Very creative recipe, you deserve the creative blog post of the week. :-)

  11. I tried congee for the first time last winter and enjoyed it. I like the sound of this pumpkin congee.

  12. that's using pumpkin to the fullest!! I love the congee, the beignets and who doesn't love roasted pumpkin seeds... BUT.... I'm still not feeling the egg (sadly). I tried my first one a couple weeks ago at work when my friend brought one in for me to eat with my lunch. Granted I don't think my pesto went well with the egg to begin with, but it was too strong for me to eat it on its own. I'm definitely going to give it another shot in the future... any suggestions of what I can pair it with?
    thanks for reading through my egg rant :)

  13. Preserved eggs... yum... they are my favourite.


  14. Wow - such great flavors here - great job!


  15. Century eggs are my favourite. And they also look ghoulishly perfect beside the pumpkin for a Hallowe'en treat!! Great job on the creativity of this dish.

  16. What an interesting combination of ingredients, and for breakfast to boot! Breakfast of Champions (good luck with the Joust too).

  17. I feel like I get an education every time I read your posts. I'd never heard of congee and several other ingredients in this dish. But it sounds so yummy, like the perfect comfort food.

  18. I feel like I get an education every time I read your posts. I'd never heard of congee and several other ingredients in this dish. But it sounds so yummy, like the perfect comfort food.

  19. I only have eyes for the congee, such a beautiful colour and I can just imagine how much more creamy it is with the pumpkin.

  20. How unique and beautiful this is!

  21. argh I wish I can have this for breakfast now! :D

  22. Breakfast congee? I can have this anytime of the day! I'm sure this is fragrantly delicious! Thanks for joining Weekend Wokking! :)

  23. We Are Never Full:
    Haha, thanks! Its non-logo being is its trademark. ;)

    I think one is still supposed to eat the congee with accompaniments. I guess, unless a really falvorful broth is useds instead of water? We'll try the sweet potato one next time and see how that goes.

    Zen Chef:
    I think my trick with the quotation marks has worked! Pumpkin "beignets": bwahahaha.

    Ooh, should we be looking forward to more congee posts in the future?

    Antonio Tahhan:
    I love the egg rant! =) I myself don't really eat century egg either. I tried a bite when we made this and proclaimed it as tasting like egg. Haha. The most common way of eating them is with congee, I think; either as an accompniment or as part of the congee itself. I looked it up on wikipwedia, and it said other uses included cooking them in an omelette (egg on egg action!), or on top of silken tofu, with ginger, green onions, soy sauce and sesame oil. I've seen that before.

    I just like the way they look.=)

    Darius T. Williams:
    Lori Lynn:
    Thanks a bunch!

    Choosy Beggar Tina:
    Haha, we didn't even think of the ghoulish effect when we made it! =D

    I think, like chicken soup, this is one of thise things you make when you're sick. It's "easy" to eat.

    We're looking forward to trying this with sweet potato soon.

    noble pig:

    Hehe... Good thing you have eas access to congee anytime... right?

    It's only "breakfast" just because we didn't make any savory dishes to go along with it. We did eat it as a "snack" before dinner. ;) Hehe.

  24. i love the idea of the beignets, babe!....but i a terrified of frying things at this moment...maybe later for winter ya

  25. I have told you how impressed I am with your creativity and innovation. But this recipe tops it all. The creativity in this recipe really wowed me.


  26. Sorry, hit the post button too fast. The comment by "c" was from me :-)


  27. Mochachocolata Rita:
    We used to not fry anything at all. Too much work, what to do withthe oil, etc etc... But I guess some things are really just great fried up! ;D

    Thanks! We thought we were doing a more or less "traditional" dish, hehe.

  28. another amazing dish
    you guys....

    i mean really. it's like a thomas keller dish. 5 recipes in one dish. or close. plus old duck eggs. i'd kill to be your neighbor.

  29. caludia:
    Haha, thanks. Thomas Keller is the last person we'd ever compare ourselves to! ;D


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