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CONGEE (RICE PORRIDGE)

If you like savory breakfast dishes, you will love this congee with tempeh, edamame, and pak choi. Congee is a savory Asian rice porridge that is very popular all over Asia. Don’t miss out on this healthy Asian comfort food!

I first tried congee during a trip to Thailand a few years ago. I was a bit skeptical at first, but then I really liked it! And the best thing is that it’s super versatile. You can add whatever toppings you want. 

WHAT IS CONGEE?

Some of you are now probably wondering what I’m talking about. And you’re right, congee is not on the menu of most Western Asian restaurants. But in China as well as in many other Asian countries it has been a staple breakfast dish for many centuries.

Breakfast?! Yes, congee is some kind of Asian savory rice porridge that is typically eaten for breakfast. It’s especially popular among children and older people as it is easy to eat and digest. There are many different versions of this popular Asian rice porridge.

Congee is made with white rice that is boiled in a large amount of water until it becomes soft and creamy. This usually takes about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.

However, you don’t necessarily have to eat it for breakfast if it’s a bit too savory for you in the morning. It also makes a great and healthy dinner. And that’s actually the way we usually eat it.

Congee (Rice Porridge)

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE CONGEE:

Congee is super budget-friendly. You can find all of the ingredients for this recipe in any regular grocery store.

For the basic congee recipe you need:

  • white long-grain rice
  • sesame oil
  • garlic
  • vegetable broth

As always, you can find the full ingredient list in a separate recipe box at the end of this post. I also included many toppings.

MY FAVORITE TOPPINGS FOR CONGEE:

  • tempeh
  • soy sauce
  • edamame
  • green onions
  • pak choi
  • sesame seeds
  • bamboo shoots
  • sriracha sauce
Congee (Rice Porridge)

HOW TO MAKE CONGEE

Making congee couldn’t be much easier! You just have to follow three simple steps.

STEP 1: Heat the sesame oil in a medium pot and cook the rice and the garlic for 1-2 minutes.

STEP 2: Then add the vegetable broth, bring to boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer.

a collage of four step-by-step photos of making congee

STEP 3: Partially cover and continue to simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Towards the end stir more often to make it creamier. Add more vegetable broth or water if needed.

CONGEE – RECIPE NOTES:

  • To prepare congee, rice is boiled in a large amount of water until it softens and becomes really thick and creamy. For me this took about one hour and I used one cup of rice and about 10 cups of vegetable broth. However, it’s possible that you have to adjust the amount of vegetable broth a little bit.
  • Of course you can also use water, but I like it much better with vegetable broth.
  • I used long-grain rice, but I read that you could also make it with brown rice but then it takes considerably longer. However, I didn’t try it myself.
  • If your congee is too thick, just add some boiling water to it.
  • You could also make a sweet version of congee by adding raisins, dates, and a bit of brown sugar.
Congee (Rice Porridge)

HOW I FOUND OUT THAT CONGEE IS NOT THE SAME AS PORRIDGE

I’ve never heard of congee before our first trip to Thailand in late 2012. My husband and I actually came back from a three-month-long backpacking trip to Australia and we had a layover in Bangkok, where we spent 5 days.

So in our hotel we had this huuuuge breakfast buffet with all these delicious Asian and Western dishes. It was our first time in Asia, so we didn’t really know that they’d eat warm and savory dishes for breakfast and we were actually a bit surprised. They offered fried rice, noodles, lots of different veggies, some meat, and of course also congee.

I really like porridge and they told me it was vegan as it wasn’t made with milk. So I thought great I’ll just have some porridge along with some fresh fruits. Well it wasn’t good at all and something was seriously wrong with this porridge…It wasn’t sweet at all and tasted awful with my watermelon and mango.

When we asked the waiter about it, he really laughed and explained to us that congee was a typical savory rice porridge and wasn’t supposed to be sweet.

He also showed us that they had lots of different toppings and condiments like green onion, tofu, sesame seeds, bamboo shoots, fried garlic, spicy pickles, and minced pork or beef to eat along with the rice porridge.

He probably got home that night and told his family about this crazy European girl who ate congee with watermelon and mango. Haha!

Well from that day on, we knew how to eat this Asian rice porridge and the next day I really wanted to give it another try. So I ate it with fried tofu, sesame seeds, green onions, bamboo shoots, and some splashes of soy sauce. And it was actually really good!!

a collage of four photos of our trip to Thailand, where I first tried congee

CONGEE – FAQS:

ARE CONGEE AND PORRIDGE THE SAME THING?

No, congee and porridge are definitely not the same thing. While porridge is mostly sweet, congee is savory.

Besides, congee is made with rice and broth while porridge is made with oats and water or milk. However, both are popular breakfast dishes.

HOW DOES CONGEE TASTE?

Congee has a hearty and savory taste. However, it depends a little what kind of broth and spices you use. If you just make it with water, it doesn’t taste like much. But in most cases it’s made with vegetable or beef broth and it has a very hearty taste.

CAN CONGEE BE KEPT OVERNIGHT?

Yes, it can definitely be kept overnight. However, you should store it in the fridge as soon as possible after cooking. Let it cool down for a bit and then transfer it to airtight containers that you can store in the fridge.

CAN CONGEE BE REHEATED?

Yes, it can easily be reheated. To reheat it, just add some more vegetable both and reboil it.

CONGEE (RICE PORRIDGE)

Course: MainCuisine: Asian
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 
Calories

351

kcal

Super easy and delicious recipe for congee (Asian rice porridge) with tempeh, edamame, and pak choi. Don’t miss out on this healthy Asian comfort food!

Ingredients

  • Congee:
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 cup white long-grain rice

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 8-10 cups vegetable broth

  • Toppings:
  • 6 oz tempeh, cut into cubes

  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup cooked edamame

  • 3 green onions, cut into rings

  • 2 small heads pak choi, cut into slices

  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

  • 1 cup bamboo shoots

  • soy sauce

  • sriracha sauce

Directions

  • Heat the sesame oil in a medium pot and cook the rice and the garlic for 1-2 minutes. Then add the vegetable broth, bring to boil and turn down the heat to a simmer. Partially cover and continue to simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Towards the end stir more often to make it creamier. Add more vegetable broth or water if needed.
  • In the meantime, make the tempeh. Heat some more sesame oil in a pan, add the tempeh, the soy sauce, and the paprika powder and cook for 4 minutes or until crispy. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Then make the pak choi. Heat 1/2 a tablespoon of water in a medium pan with a lid and steam the pak choi for about 3 minutes. Season with a splash of soy sauce.
  • Serve the congee (warm) with the toppings and top it off with a little bit of soy sauce and sriracha.

Notes

  • To prepare congee, rice is boiled in a large amount of water until it softens and becomes really thick and creamy. For me this took about one hour and I used one cup of rice and about 10 cups of vegetable broth. However, it’s possible that you have to adjust the amount of vegetable broth a little bit.
  • Of course you can also use water, but I like it much better with vegetable broth.
  • I used long-grain rice, but I read that you could also make it with brown rice but then it takes considerably longer. However, I didn’t try it myself.
  • If your congee is too thick, just add some boiling water to it. 
  • You could also make a sweet version of congee by adding raisins, dates, and a bit of brown sugar.

This recipe was created by veganheaven read the full article here

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