Congee – Gluten-free Asian Savoury Porridge

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I recently wrote about Freekeh, White Rice and Bone Marrow Congee, now this post is for a humble alternative of that congee recipe. Congee is a gluten-free Asian savoury porridge, usually eaten as breakfast, made when you’re feeling unwell or even a baby’s first solid food. This dish ranges from a simple bland soft short grain rice with grated sweet potato watered down and simmered in water to an epic congee with plenty of blanched vegetables, bits of meats and made in a broth.

Congee in Taiwanese-Hokkien sounds like ‘zhōu’ but this dish originates from China, where an Emperor was first to cook congee using millet. Taiwan’s version of congee resembles that of the Fujian Provence (find out more about the relevance of Taiwan and Fujian Provence in my post on Medium on Yuppiechef here). You also get multigrain congees more north of China, where rice struggles to grow.

Congee and fresh veg copy

Congee – Gluten-free Asian Savoury Breakfast Porridge

Serves 4–6


  • 2 Cup of cooked short grain white rice (you can substitute ¼ cup with other grains)
  • 8 Cups of water

Ingredients to flavour:

  • Sliced spring onion
  • Fresh/fried julienne ginger
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • Sesame oil
  • Sliced chilies
  • Sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • Bok Choy
  • Fresh coriander
  • Strips of pork that was marina
  • 1 Tbsp of rice wine
  • 4 chicken thighs/pork strips
  • Soya sauce
  • Salt and whit pepper to taste


  • Cook the rice
  • Prep your veggies and aromatics
  • The ratio is 4 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. To achieve the silky consistency, you need to cook the rice first.
  • Lightly pan-fry the chicken, spring onion, ginger and garlic in sesame oil until all’s lightly browned.
  • Lower the heat and add water.
  • Bring to a simmer, and add the rice.
  • After 20 minutes, remove the chicken thighs and strip the meat into the congee.
  • Simmer for an hour, until the grains are swollen and the congee is thick and silky.
  • Blanche your veggies in the congee and flavour with soya sauce, salt, white pepper and chilies.

One Response

  1. Maria Lodewyks
    | Reply

    I love your cookery book!!! I come from a similiar historical background. My late mom , Chinese , who married a my SA dad ,passed on 33 yrs ago. My mom was from Guangzou. I am,54 yrs old,regretted not paying attention to her recipes, therefore so happy to have stumbled upon your cookery book, Saturday past in the Exclusive book store.Immediately mesmerized by your simple recipes which made me miss my mom and grandmother,their aromatic chinese kitchens and cooking instantly. Despite not budgeting for a purchase, I bought your book! Thk you for sharing your life story,the simple old school recipes and the newer ones too. Thank you for rekindling the chinese home simple cooking legacy ,for it to continue for our children and future generations too!! A delightful cookery book. Today,18 th july, I picked up my June 2018, Fairlady magazine, which I had not read and found you featured in it!!!, Serendipity indeed, meant to be!! I googled …popped into your butterfingers blog and will continue to follow,cook and watch your successes keeping it humble, interesting, old/new and simple. God Bless, Maria

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