Recipe Review: Congee – Rice Porridge

by holli on February 9, 2012

One day I was on a sales call, and found myself sitting the booth of a higher end restaurant in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. I was talking to the owner of the restaurant, which was actually one of five in Seattle. While I made my pitch, he seemed captivated by the new marketing idea of using the Internet to market locally. This was in 2005, before or were hot.

After I made my pitch, the Business Owner, a Man about my Father’s age, asked, “Are you Asian?” I was so surprised by this question that had NOTHING to do with my visit, that I answered honestly and quickly, “No, not even a little.” We then diverted to talking about my Native American heritage and Norwegian forefathers. Had I been more adept at directing conversation, I would have quipped, “No, but if I say yes, will you give it (advertising) a try?” But, I usually think of these things hours later.

The funny thing is that I’ve been asked the same question at least 5 times – from the young Asian Teen taking Goodwill donations to a waiter at a Senegalese Restaurant. So, here I am about to share a very Traditional Asian staple, Congee. And no, I’m not Asian, but I love their food.

Congee ready to eat - the rice grains have broken creating a creamy texture.

Congee is a Rice Porridge made to feed babies or as a general staple to feed the sick. It’s like warm pudding, and takes to any additions you want to add from chicken to vegetables. It reminds me of Chicken soup, and I’ve taken to making it for my little lady for breakfast. For a while it was all she wanted when we began our journey to heal her constipation troubles. And now, I find myself making it when sick. I especially love adding a small slice of Ginger to it just before it’s ready to serve.

Recipe: Congee

Modified slighting, original recipe from Hen Sen Herbs


– 3/4 Cups of White Long Grain Rice

– 3 Thin Slices of Fresh Ginger Root (optional)

– 9 Cups of Water

– 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt or Real Salt (not cheap table salt)

Rinse the Rice with water until the water becomes clear. Some rice may be pre-rinsed, but I recommend rinsing just in case. Place the Rice and Water in a pot and bring it to a boil, then turn the heat down to Medium, add Salt and Ginger (if desired).

At this point, prop the pot lid partly onto the pot, but allowing steam to escape. I have accomplished this by placing chop sticks across the  pot and balancing the lid on top. Let it simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping. The Congee is done when the Rice breaks apart and the whole consistency changes to a thick creamy texture.

This recipe makes 4 large bowls or several small ones. You could add some vegetables like Bok Choy, Carrots or Celery and some white meat like Chicken for additional nutrition.

My daughter enjoys Congee plain with Olive Oil and Salt. I like it with vegetables!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

shuhan April 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Try using stock instead of water for a very very delicious congee (:

Oh and how true about feeding congee to the sick! I grew up eating this with pickled vegetable in soy sauce when I had tummy upsets. It’s the most neutral food to digest, and ever so comforting and nsotalgic for me (:


holli April 10, 2012 at 9:58 am

I will! I’ve only added stock at the end for flavor…my daughter LOVES congee when she’s sick:)


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