Classic Congee Recipe

Congee is a magical, creamy rice porridge eaten across many Asian countries, including China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Because congee is so easy on your digestion, it is commonly eaten for breakfast or when you're feeling under the weather.

The porridge-like dish can be topped with a wide variety of ingredients, including meat, fish, vegetables, eggs, and kimchi. Sometimes, these additional flavorings are added to the rice itself while it simmers, while other times, they're served atop the rice. In its most basic form though, "congee" simply refers to rice that has been simmered in a large volume of water for a long time.

We love using this classic congee recipe as a blank canvas for nearly any savory topping you can imagine. Even the simplest version — like this one from Alexandra Shytsman of the healthy recipe blog The New Baguette — is super satisfying and comforting. A drizzle of soy sauce and sesame oil, plus sesame seeds, scallions, and a soft-boiled egg, are all you need to turn this into a complete meal.

Gather the ingredients for this classic congee recipe

To make this classic congee, all you need is white rice, water, and salt. To add more flavor, you can cook the rice in broth instead of water, or use half water and half broth.

Combine the ingredients

In a roomy pot, combine the rice, salt, and water. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil.

Simmer the congee

Once boiling, reduce the flame to very low and gently simmer until the porridge is thick and creamy, about 45 minutes. Be sure to stir the congee at least every 10 minutes to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom.

Serve the congee

Serve the congee right away. Note that once it cools, it will thicken a bit. If you keep leftovers in the fridge, you can revive congee with a splash of extra water when reheating it.

Add toppings

We like to serve our congee simply, with soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, scallions, and a soft-boiled egg. Feel free to experiment with other toppings, like meat, seafood, tofu, or vegetables.

Classic Congee Recipe
5 from 33 ratings
This classic congee recipe is simple but delicious, and the ways to dress up the congee are practically endless.
Prep Time
Cook Time
congee in a bowl
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 7 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or more to taste
Optional Ingredients
  • sesame oil, for serving
  • soy sauce, for serving
  • soft-boiled eggs, for serving
  • scallions, for garnish
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rice, water, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer with the lid ajar until the congee is thick and creamy, about 45 minutes. Stir frequently so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom.
  3. Portion out congee into bows and top with desired garnishes, such as sesame oil, soy sauce, soft-boiled eggs, scallions, or sesame seeds.
Calories per Serving 117
Total Fat 0.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 25.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.0 g
Total Sugars 0.0 g
Sodium 205.2 mg
Protein 2.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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