Two weeks into lockdown, we’ve now had some time to adjust to our new normal and reflect. For some of us, this time has revealed just how stretched to nearing breaking point the systems around us had been until this point. It’s also showed us that when humanity is united in common cause, phenomenally rapid change is possible. In his essay “The New Coronation”, the thinker and writer Charles Eisenstein asks, what else might we achieve, in coherency? What world shall we create, when we awaken to our power? Already we are seeing resources being deployed into people and movements that contribute to a more just society. It’s clear that the only way forward is to take care of one another, follow love over fear, generosity over self-preservation. “To be alone is a primal fear, and modern society has rendered us more and more alone. But every act of compassion, kindness, courage, or generosity heals us from the story of separation, because it assures both actor and witness that we are in this together”. My ask is for all of us to consider what new world we want to create, and the role each of us has in shaping it.
My heart has warmed to see so many of you using our products while cooking at home, with everyone from Samin Nosrat to Esquire showing us love. Hopefully our humble sauces are providing some comfort and respite. We’re filled with gratitude that you’ve shown up and supported small businesses like ours during this time, while very conscious to the plight of our fellow entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry and beyond. We’ve seen organizations like Chef José Andrés' World Central Kitchen mobilize to serve 100,000 meals every day across the country, and joining forces with restaurants to feed frontline healthcare workers. The same is also happening on a grassroots level across the country, with small Asian-owned restaurants like 886, Raku and Ho Foods in NYC donating bento boxes to local hospitals. These initiatives keep the businesses running while providing essential relief through nourishing meals to those we’re relying on the most right now.
For the next week, Fly By Jing is committed to donating 20% of all product sales to organizations like World Central Kitchen, Frontline Foods, Off Their Plate, and others. Additionally, we will be donating 40% of the value of any Gift Card purchases. So if you happen to be in a privileged position and feeling willing and able, please buy yourself some sauce, send your friends a gift of sauce, or better yet, store up credit for future sauce. You’ll be supporting us, a female minority-run small business as well as getting resources to those who need it the most right now, local restaurants and frontline health workers.
But back to what you came here for.
The most comforting of all comfort foods, we've seen so many of you post your photos of congee topped with Sichuan Chili Crisp.
Samin Nosrat even provided her version of it on IG recently.
Bon Appetit's Pork and Shiitake Congee
Wok's of Life's 20 Minute Pork and Century Egg Congee
There are so many ways to make congee, and it's hard to go wrong.
The rule of thumb is to use about 1:8 ratio of rice to water/stock. You can speed up your cooking time by freezing the rice overnight after washing, as the expansion of moisture in the kernels breaks it up and reduces cooking time, from over an hour to just 20 minutes.
When I'm feeling fancy, I'll cook my congee with a rich stock like chicken, or even lobster. You can add pork, chicken, mushrooms or (my personal favorite treat) abalone.
Before serving, add any toppings you want, from a poached egg to fried crunchy peanuts to herbs or chili oil.
Be well, be kind, to yourself and others.