YIELD: 12 servings
2 ½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup minced shallots
1 cup dried chile flakes
1 cup chopped raisins
1 Tbsp. kosher salt

For the congee:
2 cups steamed rice
16 cups chicken stock, reduced to 8 cups
½ cup raisins
1 cup julienned salty ham
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 eggs
4 Tbsps. fried shallots
4 Tbsps. minced green onions

1. For the chile-raisin oil: In sauté pan over high heat, heat oil and brown minced shallots; reduce heat to low and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in chile flakes and raisins; cook until oil turns red. Add salt to taste and set aside. This Chile-Raisin Oil will keep at room temperature for up to one month.

2. For the chicken congee: Fluff rice by hand or with a fork; turn into large pot; add reduced chicken stock. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until rice breaks down and makes thin pudding. Stir in raisins and set aside. Meanwhile, sauté ham julienne in oil over low heat until crispy; crumble and set aside.

3. To serve: Poach eggs.

Divide hot congee into four large soup bowls. Top each with 1 poached egg and 2 teaspoons Chile-Raisin Oil. Sprinkle with crumbled ham and garnish with green onions and fried shallots.

Photo and recipe: California Raisins