Recipe by Roberta L.
Duyff, MS, RDN, FAND, CFCS
Congee, or rice porridge, is often considered an Asian
comfort food — and an Asian version of risotto. Its prolonged cooking time
breaks down the rice, resulting in a thick, creamy and hearty porridge.
This dish can be eaten plain or cooked with vegetables,
seasonings, a protein food (such as chicken, meat or fish), and topped with
savory or sweet condiments. Congee is typically eaten for breakfast (even with its
savory flavors!) or as a late supper main dish. Depending on the ingredients
chosen, congee can be vegetarian or vegan. In some cultures, congee substitutes for
cooked rice as a side dish.
Made with brown rice, congee is another way to fit fiber
into the day…and it's gluten-free!
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup (2 ounces) sliced fresh oyster, shiitake, or portabello mushrooms
2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk lemongrass, cut in 3 pieces, optional
1 cup brown rice *
9 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water, or a combination
2 cups (4 ounces) chopped bok choy (Chinese cabbage), optional
Low-sodium soy sauce, to taste
Chopped hard-cooked egg
Cooked popcorn shrimp
Cooked shredded chicken or turkey
Toasted sesame seeds
Sliced green onions
Sliced bamboo shoots
Sautéed chopped onions
Chopped fresh cilantro, parsley, or mint
Pickled ginger root
- Heat the oil in a large
pot over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, ginger root, garlic, and
lemongrass, if desired; cook and stir until the mushrooms soften.
- Mix in the rice and the broth
or water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover, tilting the lid to
let allow steam escape. Cook for 90
minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix
in the bok choy. Continue to cook for
another 15 to 30 minutes, until the rice is thick, creamy, and to the
consistency you prefer; stir occasionally to keep the rice from sticking
to the pot.
- Season to taste with soy
sauce. Remove lemongrass if
used. Serve hot with one or more
condiments of your choice.
- Substitute enriched white
rice if preferred.
- Because congee takes time
to cook, make it ahead, refrigerate, and reheat within a day or two to
serve. The consistency will be
thicker. This also gives time for
the flavors to blend.
- Congee can be made by simply
cooking 1 cup white or brown rice with 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
and 2 tablespoons honey in 9 cups water for about 90 minutes. Then it can
be topped with fresh sliced fruit, e.g. mango, papaya, pineapple, dates.
Serves 6 (Serving size: 1 cup)
Calories: 170; Calories from fat: 30; Total fat: 3.5g;
Saturated fat: 0g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 5mg; Sodium: 230mg; Total
carbohydrate: 30g; Dietary fiber: 2g; Sugars: 2g; Protein 3g