Teach me how to cook congee.
November 21, 2013 4:24 AM   Subscribe

I've searched previous instances of congee showing up in comments on the Green, but very few actual recipes. None of the recipes I've found online even agree on the rice-to-water ratio or cooking time. Recipes from any nation, savory or sweet and any serving tips or suggestions most welcome!
posted by digitalprimate to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
This is the congee recipe I use:

9 cups water
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
2 teaspoons salt
1 fresh turkey wing (about 1 pound)
1 (1/2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger (about 1/4 ounce)
Chopped green onions (optional)
Minced fresh parsley (optional)
Julienne-cut peeled fresh ginger (optional)
Low-sodium soy sauce (optional)

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large Dutch oven, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 1 1/2 hours or until soup has a creamy consistency, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; keep warm.
Discard ginger piece. Remove turkey from soup; place on a cutting board or work surface. Cool 10 minutes. Remove skin from turkey; discard. Remove meat from bones; discard bones. Chop meat into bite-sized pieces, and stir meat into soup. Divide soup evenly among 6 bowls; garnish with green onions, parsley, julienne-cut ginger, and soy sauce, if desired.

Shirley Fong-Torres, Cooking Light
posted by LittleMy at 4:45 AM on November 21, 2013 [4 favorites]

8 cups water, 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice

Boil in a pot until it's all tender. You can cook it until the consistency you like - this may be totally soft and thick, or where the rice and water are not quite mixed in together. I like to make the base congee totally plain, because it is delicious when you mix new flavours in and some spoonfuls of the congee are saturated in flavour, and some more subtle.

Now, I like to add any of the following in combinations to make flavoured congee:


- light soy sauce or salt
- sesame oil (a few drops)
- red vinegar
- white pepper
- scallions/spring onion chopped up small
- kimchi
- shredded steamed/grilled chicken meat
- shredded roast duck meat
- pork ribs or pork minced meat (cooked)
- steamed fish fillet
- an egg, stirred in and cooked in the hot congee
- fried shallots
- fresh grated ginger or pickled ginger
- wilted spinach or cabbage


- some evaporated or UHT milk, condensed milk, slivered almonds, raisins
- sugar, cinnamon, milk
- honey

Enjoy experimenting!
posted by shazzam! at 5:17 AM on November 21, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I like a ratio of 8-10 cups of liquid to one cup of medium grain rice. I use homemade chicken or pork stock, but you can use store-bought if it's not too salty. I wash the rice first, rinsing three or four times or until the water runs clear. Then, put rice and stock in a pot, throw in a chunk of peeled ginger, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until the rice disintegrates and turns into congee, usually about 1.5 hours. This "disintegration" is very important -- soggy rice is not congee. If it's too watery, leave the cover off for a while, and if it's too thick, add some water. Salt and white pepper to taste.

I usually make the toppings while the congee is simmering: cook and shred some chicken, chop some green onions, slice more ginger, peel thousand-year-old eggs, etc.
posted by bradf at 7:45 AM on November 21, 2013

My favorite is jatjuk, made with rice and pine nuts (juk or jook will get you Korean congee recipes). It's a little bit different from usual congee recipes in that you have to grind the soaked rice prior to cooking. Here's one recipe for jatjuk.
posted by needled at 9:34 AM on November 21, 2013

Very basic, VERY delicious Vietnamese chicken congee (cháo gà) recipe from my mom. My favorite soup!

1 chicken (I prefer dark meat, so I use 4 thighs, 4 drumsticks)
4+ qts (~17 c) water
1 teaspoon salt
2" piece of ginger, peeled and smashed gently
1 med to big onion, halved
2+ c jasmine rice (slightly rounded cups)
4 tablespoons fish sauce
4 teaspoons sugar
(optional) cilantro, scallions

Place chicken into large stock pot, cover with water. Bring water to boil over high heat, reduce to simmer. Add in salt, ginger, and onion. Cover and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through (about 30 min if quartered or 45 min if whole). Skim off excess fat or scum. Remove chicken, onion, and ginger. Return stock to stovetop.

Rinse rice and add to stock and simmer covered until done, about 20-30 min total. Shred chicken/tear into bite-sized pieces (usually I have more chicken than the soup needs, so I set aside a couple pieces to cut up later & eat with rice and Maggi)

About 10 min into cooking rice, add fish sauce and sugar. Add more water if cháo is too thick. Wait about 5 min, then add chicken. Season with black pepper. Garnish with cilantro/scallions if you have any. This will thicken QUITE A BIT after cooking as it takes forever to cool/stop cooking.

posted by desertface at 10:15 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm no authority on congee, but I've enjoyed this recipe from Jaden's Steamy Kitchen.
posted by ikahime at 2:30 PM on November 21, 2013

Congee is my favorite winter meal and I always make it in a crock pot, usually overnight to wake up to its goodness. Crock pot congee has never failed me, and this is my favorite from my grandfather:

(Chinese) Congee with Pork Spareribs

1. Heavily salt 1-inch by 1-inch spareribs (I usually ask the butcher to do this). Set in fridge for at least a day.

2. Put spareribs in cold water, bring to boil for 2 minutes. Strain.

3. In crock pot, put 1 cup of (washed) white rice. Fill crock pot with 8 cups water. Add spareribs. I also put in a handful of dried scallops and peanuts.

4. Cook on High for 5 hours. Or Low overnight.

5. Serve with chopped scallions and a splash of soy sauce.

I'd also recommend The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen by Grace Young. She has three solid (chicken, turkey, gingko nut) congee recipes.
posted by inevitability at 5:44 PM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I don't measure water for congee. My dad taught me that after I rinse the rice, shake it until it's an even layer and put your index finger on the top of the rice. Fill with water just above the 2nd knuckle (a little higher if you want it soupy).

Then I put it on the stove at a medium heat and check and stir every 10 minutes until it's the right consistency and texture.

Then I put it in a bowl, add dried shredded pork, stir and eat.

If I'm sick, I'll add a shitton of ginger slices in while it's cooking.
posted by spec80 at 5:49 PM on November 21, 2013

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