Japan is insane. I never tire of the culture, architecture, cleanliness, and above all, food. I have spent a decent amount of time there exploring the countryside for the weirdest bits of newness to try. Something I love about the country is they are predominantly a plant based society, almost always having salad and fermented vegetables with breakfast, and it’s great, because you never really feel weighed down afterwards. Another common comfort staple is congee, which is, from what I can imagine, is more or less leftover rice that is too dried out or perhaps overcooked and mushy. Either way, it gets pureed into a porridge, and is often served mild and savory. I would compare it to creamed wheat or wet grits. Whatever it’s called, it is damn good, and I loved making it. The dish is generally pretty mild like oatmeal, but I am a spicy broad, so I need my spice.Then of course I started thinking about gumbo and all those awesome cajun creole flavors then I was so wrapped up with cravings, I had to come up with this dish. 🙂
If you have ever had the Rainshadow CSA, you have likely seen purple celery in the basket. It is sort of odd, as there is hardly any of the ‘stalk’, which is what we are used to cooking with. It is almost all leaves, but I’m not into wasting, so I turned it into the base of the congee. Also the smell while cooking is just to die for (huge yum craveability) It somehow ends up pretty gosh darn great, so please give it a try, and I am sure you will enjoy this cajun twist on a traditional Japanese dish.