Rice porridge (or congee) for us is the ultimate comfort food. It brings back nostalgic memories of when we were kids and our parents would make us some warm rice porridge for breakfast or whenever we were sick. The flavours are nothing out of the extraordinary, but what always hits the spot is that comforting feeling that you get when you take a bite of the warm, soft, and savoury rice porridge. And with the right toppings, yod be surprised of the flavours and textures that you can get from a simple bowl of rice porridge.
What makes a good rice porridge? One thing: the broth. No matter what kind of broth you use, make sure you use a good, tasty broth since all the flavours in the porridge basically comes from the broth. You can even make your own broth to make sure the flavours are just how you want them to be. But we used a store-bought chicken broth that we like, and it still does a good job with flavouring our porridge. One thing to note though, most rice porridges are made with meat-based broth and have some kind of meat chunks in them. If you’re vegetarian, you can definitely try making it with some vegetable broth, although we’ve never tried ourselves. Maybe we’ll give it a try one day and let you know how that turns out!
Some people love eating porridge on its own, without any toppings whatsoever. But us, we’re basically the king and queens of toppings. We’d put so much toppings that sometimes you wouldn’t even be able to see that there’s porridge underneath (true story). And the most important toppings to have on a bowl of rice porridge for us are fried shallots, green onions, and coriander! It’s the trinity of toppings (for us anyway). They just give the dish so much more flavours, fragrance, and textures! You can make fried shallots at home by simply deep-frying some shallots, or you can also buy it online or at an Asian supermarket. You can also add eggs such as century eggs or half-cooked eggs, like the one we used in this recipe and in our Japanese Beef Bowl (Gyudon) recipe. And one of the best best best sides to eat the porridge with is youtiao, or Chinese fried doughnuts. We love eating porridge with youtiao, but we didn’t use it in this recipe since it’s kind of hard to get a good youtiao in Montreal. But maybe we’ll make a recipe of it, stay tuned!
That’s today’s recipe, we hope it’ll bring you comfort and some yummy goodness like it does to us! It’s a simple, ordinary dish but with a lot of flavours, texture, and for us, memories attached to it! Feel free to comment for any questions and suggestions, and as usual, happy eating!
Chicken Rice Porridge (Congee) Recipe
- 3/4 cup long-grain white rice
- 4-5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 5 ounces boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tsp fried shallots
- 2 tsp green onions finely chopped
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 whole eggs
- coriander leaves for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
To make the chicken, season the chicken thighs with some salt. In a pot, bring water to a boil and season it with salt. Add the chicken thighs into the boiling water and let boil for about 7-8 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly. Remove from heat and let chill. Shred the chicken by hand into fine, long strips.
In a pot, bring 4 cups of chicken broth to a boil at high heat. When the broth is boiling, add the uncooked rice into the pot and stir constantly to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom. Let the rice cook for 15 minutes while stirring occasionally. After 15 minutes, the rice should become fluffy and soft. Continue cooking the rice for another 10 minutes while stirring constantly. After 10 minutes, add another cup of chicken broth, stir, and cook for another 5 minutes. The porridge should have very soft, thick texture. If you want your porridge to more watery, you can add more chicken broth to your taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To make eggs, place two eggs in a pot and fill up the pot with boiling water slowly until both eggs are fully submerged. Cover with lid and let cook for 15 minutes. Do not turn on the stove, the heat from boiling water itself will cook the eggs to a soft, half-cooked texture. After 15 minutes, transfer eggs into a bowl of cold water to stop it from cooking further.
Transfer rice porridge into two medium-sized bowls. If porridge becomes too thick, add a little bit of hot water and stir. Crack an egg onto each bowl of porridge and top with the shredded chicken, fried shallots, green onions, soy sauce, and coriander.