Chinese Congee

Chinese Congee | ChopChop


Congee is the Chinese name for a porridge-like soup made with rice that sort of explodes as it cooks. We make ours with brown rice, for extra flavor, but it takes a little longer to cook than the traditional kind, which is made with white rice. In China they eat it for breakfast, but with add-your-own toppings, it makes a perfect dinner. (A similar Korean dish is called juk.)

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Makes: 4 Servings

Kitchen Gear: 

Cutting board
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Large soup pot with lid
Pot holder
Spoon, for stirring
4 bowls


1 tablespoon
vegetable oil
small onion, peeled and diced
small carrot, scrubbed or peeled, and diced
small celery stalk, diced
small slice of fresh ginger root, about the size of a nickel, peeled and minced
1⁄2 cup
raw long-grain brown rice
5 cups
low-sodium chicken broth
1⁄4 teaspoon
rice wine vinegar, unseasoned
2 tablespoons
chopped fresh cilantro or Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves
scallions, greens and white parts, minced


  1. Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. When the pot is hot, add the oil, onion, carrot, celery, and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are softened but not browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and 4 cups chicken broth, turn the heat up to high, and bring to a boil.
  3. Once the broth is bubbling, turn the heat down to very low and put a lid on the pot, but only part way, so that some steam can escape. Adjust the heat so that the rice mixture stays at a low simmer, which means that you’ll see it bubbling gently.
  4. Cook until the rice sort of bursts and falls apart, 1 to 1 ½ hours, stirring every 15 minutes. (You can set a timer to remember to stir it!) Add the remaining 1 cup chicken broth if it’s thicker than you like it.
  5. Add the vinegar, stir, and taste the congee. If it needs more vinegar or a pinch of salt to boost the flavor, add it, then taste again. Set the rice aside, covered, while you prepare the toppings.
  6. Divide among the bowls, add the cilantro or parsley and scallions, and serve.


Top This
Craving even more toppings? Add crushed peanuts,* toasted sesame oil, shredded cooked chicken, corn kernels, fresh chopped spinach, and/or cubed tofu.

* If no one is allergic.