Basic Congee Recipes

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  • 50 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: Serve 3-4 people
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Congee (粥 or 稀飯), is a classic Chinese breakfast dish and is essentially a rice pudding (Chinese equivalent of porridge). Congee is served with Chinese crullers (youtiao, 油條), which are fried dough, which you dip into the congee.


In this article I’m going to introduce you to three different ways to prepare this basic congee (白粥). There are no rules about what you can add to congee, you can put all kinds of different ingredients into your congee. Typically people add meat, fish, vegetables and healthy herbs and you can also add shredded lotus root and gingko nuts. You can also make a sweet version of congee with Chinese dates (jujubes) and a bit of rock sugar.


When I was a little girl, the nursery/kindergarten I joined made a raisin congee. The chef in the nursery added raisins and seasoned with a little bit of rock sugar so we loved it. The raisins are delicious and also high in iron and other nutrition so parents like to feed children this kind of dessert.


One of my favourite congees has Shiitake mushrooms, pork mince and bamboo shoots in it. My grandmother used to make this congee often an especially when I was ill from flu or catching a cold. My grandmother would use marinade pork or beef mince with sugar and soy sauce. Chop the shiitake mushrooms finely and julienne the bamboo shoot. Then just cook all of the ingredients together with the congee. She likes to season the congee with ground white pepper. I will never forget the love and taste of this congee.


I made congee for my daughter very often when she was a little baby. I made the congee with different meats, poultry, fish and vegetables to help her to wean herself off just milk. She loved the different types of congee I made her and she has always loved eating rice since. In my congee’s I use different kinds of stocks including chicken stock, vegetable stoc and beef stock instead of water.


Edited by Liv Wan

What You'll Need

  • Recipe 1:
  • Ingredients:
  • ¾ cup long grain rice
  • 9 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • Recipe 2:
  • Ingredients:
  • 70g rice
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil (sunflower, peanut, vegetable or olive oil)
  • Recipe 3:
  • Ingredients:
  • 70g rice
  • 1 litre water 

How to Make It

Recipe 1:  


  1. In a large pot, bring the water and rice to a boil.
  2. When the rice is boiling, turn the heat down to medium low. Place the lid on the pot, tilting it to allow the steam to escape (the same as you would do when making cooked rice.)
  3. Cook on medium low to low heat, stirring occasionally, until the rice has the thick, creamy texture of porridge (this procedure needs about 1-1 ¼ hours).
  1. Add the salt, taste and add seasonings if desired.
  2. Serve with garnishes such as crushed peanuts if desired. 


Recipe 2: 


  1. Rinse and wash the rice and soak the rice in the water for half an hour then drain the water.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of oil into the rice and mix evenly. Adding oil can help the rice cook quicker and also make the congee smoother and softer in texture.
  3. Boil the 1 litre water and add the rice.
  4. Turn the fire to medium heat and keep stirring the rice for 5 minutes.
  5. Turn the fire to the lowest heat, cover the lid and simmer for 45 minutes. Tilting the lid allows the steam to escape.


  • if you think the congee is a bit too thick and you want to add some water, please add boiled water.
  • Serves 3 people


Recipe 3: 


  1. Rinse and wash the rice and soak the rice in the water for half an hour then drain the water.
  2. Put step 1 rice into a freezer bag and freeze for 2-3 hours.
  3. Boil 1 litre of water in a large pot first then add the frozen rice into the boiling water.
  4. Bring it to a boil again and turn to medium heat and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Turn off the stove and cover the lid for 15 minutes then it’s ready to serve.


  • If you have congee quite often then you can freeze the rice in portions ahead. Then only need to cook 30 minutes then you got a nice, smooth basic congee to eat.