Congee Recipe

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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.

What’s so special about rice pudding?

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.

Homemade congee from jasmine rice

Here is a basic congee recipe with a list of traditional toppings, as well as two unique options.

Make it a Meal

Complete this homey, comforting meal with a delicious Breakfast Toast!

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Congee

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield:4-6 servings

Ingredients

Basic Congee

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.

Mushroom and Broccoli Stir Fry Topping

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

Tamari and pepper (to taste)

Mango and Lime Topping

1 medium mango, diced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro

1 medium lime

Instructions

Basic Congee

  1. Slice ginger into coins.
  2. Add ginger, sushi rice, coconut milk, and water to a small saucepan with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is rich and creamy, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Top with the toppings of your choice.

Mushroom and Broccoli Stir Fry Topping

  1. In a large pan, heat oil. Sauté garlic and ginger until fragrant.
  2. Then add shiitake mushrooms and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in broccoli and cook until tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add greens and cook until wilted. Season with salt or tamari and pepper.
  4. Finally, serve atop basic congee.

Mango and Lime Topping

  1. In a small bowl, combine mango, red onion, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. After that, squeeze juice of lime and stir to combine.
  3. Finally, serve atop warm congee.

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