There’s so many reasons why you should make congee – cost, simplicity, nourishment, gut health – but one of the biggest reasons is that you can make an almost unlimited amount of recipes from one pot of rice. Let me show you how I do it at home:
The following directions are for 1 cup of rice which yields about 7-10 individual servings.
Step 1. Rinse 1 cup of rice in water several times to wash away extra starch.
Step 2. In a medium to large-sized stock pot or dutch oven, add the rice and anywhere from 2-4 quarts of water. (Two quarts will yield a fairly thick consistency and four quarts will be much thinner)
Step 3. Bring the water to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to the lowest setting on your stove and cook at a very lower simmer for 60-90 minutes. Leave the lid slightly ajar to let steam escape.
Step 4. Stir frequently! The rice can easily stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
Step 5. It’s done when the rice grains fall apart and the consistency thickens into a porridge. Turn the stove off and let it cool for at least an hour, stirring on occasion to encourage faster cooling. Then transfer it to the fridge where it will congeal and thicken further as seen in the video above.
Step 6. When you’re ready to make a recipe, transfer some of the congealed, cooled congee to a separate small pot. Add bone broth of your choice, bring to a simmer and reconstitute the rice.
Step 7. Add any meat/protein, vegetables, herbs and seasonings you want! The possibilities are endless.
There are quite literally thousands of different styles and ways to make congee. Almost every country in Asia has different recipes and traditions. I’ve listed 10 countries with a list of veggies, herbs and spices native to that country that can stimulate some ideas. Use any type of meats/proteins and bone broth to whip up some simple congee recipes. A pot of plain rice congee is like a blank canvass to create infinite congee possibilities. I’ve also included some links for some more specific recipes.
1. Thai-style – fish and/or soy sauce, ginger, chiles, cilantro, fried scallions and garlic
2. Japanese-style – soy sauce, ginger, garlic, carrots, Napa cabbage, nori strips, sesame oil, furikake seasoning
Japanese rice porridge
Okayu (Japanese congee)
3. Indian-style – garam masala, turmeric, brown sugar, tomatoes, cucumber, yogurt
Bengali rice porridge
Tamil Nadu congee
4. Burmese-style – ginger, turmeric, peas, peanuts, chiles, lime, cilantro, sesame oil
Hsan pyoke (Burmese congee)
Burmese congee with meatballs
5. Chinese-style – soy sauce, ginger, scallions, bamboo shoots, Chinese cooking wine, cilantro
Chinese rice porridge
Basic Chinese congee
Chinese chicken and rice congee
6. Korean-style – gochujang, onions, carrots, ginger, daikon, scallions, kimchi, sesame oil
Korean chicken porridge
Korean egg juk
Non-Asian style congees
7. Portuguese-style – chorizo or linguica, onions, peppers, cumin, tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper
8. Mexican-style – onions, garlic, jalapenos, lime, tomatoes, cilantro, salt and pepper
9. Italian-style – tomatoes, thyme, oregano, basil, salt, pepper
10. American-style – turkey, rosemary, spinach, sweet potatoes, salt and pepper
Includes hundreds of recipes geared towards dozens of different health issues. Outstanding, in-depth info however many of the ingredients are not easy to find in regular supermarkets.
Includes a chapter on how to make congee with recipes for:
Includes a chapter with several different Thai congee recipes including:
Craig Fear is the creator of Fearless Eating and the author of three books, The 30-Day Heartburn Solution, Fearless Broths and Soups and The Thai Soup Secret. After years helping clients with digestive issues, Craig decided to pursue writing full-time. He intends to write many more books on broths and soups from around the world! Click here to learn more about Craig.