Rice congee is a type of rice porridge that is eaten
in many Asian countries.
In some cultures, congee is eaten primarily as a breakfast food or late supper;
while in others, it is eaten as a substitute for rice at other meals.
Left: Chinese rice congee.
Congee can be made in a pot or in a rice cooker. Some rice cookers even have a
"congee" setting, allowing the user to cook their breakfast congee overnight.
There are many regional variations of Chinese congees (called
zhou in Mandarin Chinese). For example, to make Cantonese congee, white rice is
boiled in many times its weight of water for a long time until the rice breaks
down and becomes a fairly viscous white porridge. Congees made in other
regions may use different types of rice with different quantities of water, thus
resulting in a thicker or more viscous product.
It is often eaten with
zha cai, salted duck eggs, lettuce and dace paste, bamboo
youtiao, rousong, pickled tofu, wheat gluten, with other condiments,
meat or century eggs.
Other seasonings, such as white pepper and soy sauce, may be added.
Alternatively, grilled fish may be mixed in to provide a different texture.
Congee is often eaten with fried bread sticks known as
youtiao. Congee with
youtiao is commonly eaten as breakfast in many areas in China. Congee can be
left watery or can be drained so that it has a texture similar to Western
oatmeal porridge. Congee can also be made from brown rice, although this is less
common and takes longer to cook.
Congee can also be made from other grains, like cornmeal,
millet, barley, and sorghum. These are common in the north of China, where rice
does not grow as well as other grains suited for a colder climate. Multigrain
congee mixes are popularly sold in the health food sections of Chinese