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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 shoots, 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 supermarkets.


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