When it comes to New York City restaurants, you really can't get more classic than Nom Wah Tea Parlor, which started serving up dim sum in 1920, and Katz's Delicatessen, which has been dealing in pastrami since 1888. They're both beloved New York City food institutions, which makes their new holiday collaboration so exciting—albeit a little unexpected. But for Calvin Eng, chef at Nom Wah Nolita, this recipe for a leftovers Thanksgiving congee was a logical fit. "I wanted to be able to reconcile these two New York staples into a festive celebration," he explained in an email. "After all, both Nom Wah and Katz's have a legacy in the Lower East Side and Chinatown; it made sense to bring a sense of the old New York into this new dish."
Congee is a type of Chinese rice porridge, and the inspiration for this recipe comes straight from Eng's childhood. "Growing up and having Thanksgiving in America, it was always a thing to make the day after with the leftover turkey meat and carcass." The key to making good congee is a proper rice-to-water ratio, according to Eng, but, he continued, "the real trick is freezing he rice ahead of time to cut down on hours of cooking and having to stir it over the stove."
Though the version of this dish that's available at Nom Wah Nolita comes topped with turkey roasted at Katz's, you can absolutely use your own leftovers, whatever you have on hand. "The one we serve at the restaurant has all the fixings to make every bite feel like Thanksgiving," said Eng, so feel free to add all the leftovers you could possibly stomach. It's the best way to use up your—and pay
Nom Wah Nolita Katz-giving Congee
- Yields: 13 portions
Wash, drain, and freeze the 1 cup of rice for at least 4 hours. This helps break the grains and allows water to be absorbed much quicker during the cooking process.
Shred 2 cups of leftover turkey by hand.
Bring stock and salt to a boil in a large pot. Stir in the cup of frozen rice.
Bring the heat to medium and constantly stir to avoid rice from sticking to the bottom.
Stir frequently for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add shredded turkey.
Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Serve with leftover fixings or enjoy as is!