This version of chicken congee is an easy comfort food, perfect for cold winter days or if you are feeling under the weather. Plus, the ingredients are simple, but the end result is full of flavor.
What is congee?
Congee is a simple rice porridge, made by cooking rice in water for extended periods of time until the consistency is thick, similar to oatmeal or gruel.
Toppings are typically added to this simple dish, such as green onions, fried garlic or shallots, shredded chicken, cilantro, sesame oil, soy sauce, pork floss, furikake and/or egg.
The history of congee isn’t certain, but it most likely originated in China in the Zhou dynasty. Since then, it’s become a very popular dish, especially for breakfast.
Now you can find congee all over the world, stretching from Hong Kong to New York City. Anywhere there are Chinese immigrants, you will likely find congee.
Most Asian countries have their own version of rice porridge. Below are a few popular varieties of rice porridge that are very similar to congee.
- Okayu (Japan)
- Dakjuk (Korea)
- Cháo Gà (Vietnam)
- Jok (Thailand)
- Bubur Ayam (Malaysia)
- Arroz Caldo (Philippines)
- Kao Piak (Laos)
- Kanji (India)
- Phenaa Bhaat (Bangladesh)
Ingredients for Shortcut Chicken Congee
Make sure you have all the ingredients you need before making this recipe. All of the ingredients and possible alternatives are listed below. For the best results, stick to the original ingredients.
|Leftover white rice (jasmine or short grain)
|Freshly made white rice (jasmine or short grain)
|Chicken stock (canned or homemade), chicken bone broth
|Ginger, thinly sliced
|Green onion (spring onions), optional
|Soft boiled egg, optional
|Light soy sauce, optional
|Regular soy sauce, tamari, liquid aminos, coconut aminos
|Sesame oil, optional
Other toppings that you can add on top include shredded rotisserie chicken, fried shallots, pork floss, century egg, chili oil, fish sauce, cilantro and/or lime.
How to make Shortcut Chicken Congee
Option 1: Add the leftover white rice, two cups of cold water, ginger, white pepper and the chicken bouillon to a rice cooker. Cook on the “Congee” or “Porridge” setting (if there are setting options).
Option 2: Add the leftovers white rice, two cups of cold water, ginger, white pepper and the chicken bouillon to a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Once the rice has absorbed and the porridge is thick, transfer to individual bowls. Top with soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions and a soft boiled egg, if desired.
How to store the leftovers
If there are any leftovers, transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. I personally find my congee to be even better the next day!
When you are ready to enjoy your congee, simply reheat in the microwave or reheat in a shallow pot over the stove. Add the toppings after you have reheated the congee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is chicken congee healthy?
While congee is often touted as a medicinal food, there isn’t anything particularly magical about it. The reason why it’s a great “sick” food is because it’s hydrating, easy on the digestive system and isn’t overwhelming in flavor (though it tastes great).
Consider it the Eastern version of chicken noodle soup. Personally, I enjoy congee more than its Western counterpart, but it essentially plays the same role.
Nutritionally, chicken congee isn’t very dense. It’s mostly just water and carbohydrates with small amounts of micronutrients and fiber. To boost the nutritional value, you can sub the water and chicken bouillon with bone broth.
What is the difference between congee and porridge?
Congee and rice porridge are the same dish, just two different names. The terms are often used interchangeably. Other names for rice porridge include jook, arroz caldo, dakjuk and okayu.
Most Asian countries have their own version of rice porridge as it’s a great way to stretch rice or use leftover rice. You may find differences in spices and toppings depending on where in the world your rice porridge comes from.
Is it ok to eat congee everyday?
Yes! It’s okay to eat congee everyday just as it’s okay to eat oatmeal everyday. That being said, variety is important for a healthy diet, so try to switch up the toppings as much as you can.
You can also try making congee with different flavors of bouillon, such as vegetable or mushroom bouillon or beef bouillon. This can switch up the flavor profile and prevent taste bud burnout!
Why do people eat congee when sick?
Congee can have several benefits for those who are feeling under the weather. Firstly, it’s hydrating. Not only does congee contain lots of water, it also has sodium which is an electrolyte. Imagine congee as a savory, chunky Gatorade!
Secondly, congee is easy to digest. White rice isn’t very high in fiber, so it is broken down quite easily, serving as a quick source of energy.
Finally, it’s a simple dish that isn’t super flavorful. This can be appealing when you are feeling sick and don’t have much of an appetite. It’s easy to get down, which is great because you need calories to help you heal and fight off infection.
Shortcut Chicken Congee (Rice Porridge)
- 1 cup leftover white rice
- 3 cups water
- 3 tsp chicken bouillon
- 1 inch ginger peeled and sliced
- soft boiled egg optional
- chopped green onion optional
- soy sauce optional
- sesame oil optional
- Option 1: Add the leftover white rice, two cups of cold water, ginger, white pepper and the chicken bouillon to a rice cooker. Cook on the “Congee” or “Porridge” setting (if there are setting options).
- Option 2: Add the leftovers white rice, two cups of cold water, ginger, white pepper and the chicken bouillon to a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Once the rice has absorbed and the porridge is thick, transfer to individual bowls. Top with soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions and a soft boiled egg, if desired.