Recipe: Hong Kong-style congee

Eating a bowl of steamy congee, a Chinese rice porridge dish popular in Hong Kong (and across South East Asia), is the equivalent of a gastronomic hug. It’s warm, comforting and tastier than its appearance. It’s also easy to make, particularly if you have a rice cooker. Whether you’re after a nourishing breakfast or fuss-free supper, congee has got you covered.

(Serves 4)

2 kilos chicken, cut into bite size chunks (keep the back)
2 litres water
4 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
5 slices of fresh ginger
4 spring onions
1 teaspoon salt
130 grams long-grain rice
Accompaniment: sesame oil and handful of sliced spring onions


Add the chicken (including the back) to a large saucepan and add the water. Bring to the boil a and simmer making sure to skim off the froth until the chicken is cooked through. Add the Chinese rice wine, ginger and spring onions.

Remove the chicken and discard the back. Leave the chicken to cool and then shred.

Pour the stock through a sieve to remove any solids and return to a clean saucepan. Add the rice and bring back to the boil before turning the heat down and simmering. Leave to cook (stirring occasionally to stop it sticking) until the rice breaks down and turns into a porridge consistency, usually around 45 minutes.

Season the congee with salt and add the shredded chicken. Pour into bowls and top with a little sesame oil and sliced spring onions.

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