Congee is a traditional rice pudding dish popular in many Asian countries. This low calorie porridge-like dish is super easy to digest. In addition, it warms up the digestive system to give a burst of energy.
Words fail to describe my love of congee. For years, I was terrified to eat it. I mean, rice porridge doesn’t exactly sound super delicious. But when I finally did eat it, I was in love with everything about it. It is a homey, warming, super tasty alternative to same-old oatmeal. Best of all, it can be made sweet or savory with traditional toppings as well as creative ones. The sky is the limit with this one. Don’t be shy. Add whatever you want to this porridge and call it breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Congee, or rice pudding, is to Asia what chicken soup is to America. It is a staple in just about every household. Some sources say it is among the very first food given to babies, as well as the go-to choice when one is under the weather.
The dish was born from human necessity as a way of stretching a meal in times of need, when there was not enough rice to go around. It’s common to prepare congee with just one part rice to 10 parts water, flavoring the porridge with whatever remains in the pantry, essentially feeding a family with a cup of grains and leftovers.
Here is a basic congee recipe with a list of traditional toppings, as well as two unique options.
Complete this homey, comforting meal with a delicious Breakfast Toast!
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger
3/4 cup sushi rice
1 16 oz. can coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water
Basic toppings of your choice: scallion, pickled ginger, sugar snap peas, cilantro, fresh ginger, garlic chives, cilantro, or celery. Or try one of the options below.
1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Chinese broccoli (or broccolini, broccoli raab, or regular broccoli), cut into small florets
2 cups mustard greens, coarsely chopped
1 medium mango, diced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
1 medium lime