Weekday mornings can be busy with everyone rushing off to start their day but on weekends or when someone is not feeling well, we always slow down to have Taiwanese congee together. The light white rice porridge paired with the savory sides and toppings are perfectly 開胃 (appetizing) to start the day with or make sure you eat when you're not feeling well and don't have much appetite.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1-1.5 hours (depending on the type of rice and the consistency you want)
Servings: 2-4 (depending on how much each person eats and how thick or water-y you like your congee - for certain members of our family, this could also just be 1 serving)
- 1 cup (rice cup) of rice (whether it's long grained or short grained really depends on your preference. I usually use short grained)
- 6-8 cups water or vegetable stock (depends on how thick or water-y you like your congee and the rice you use - for long grained rice you should use a little more water. Also, the vegetable stock will make the rice more flavorful- I personally prefer to just use water to keep my breakfast lighter and balance out the very flavorful sides/toppings)
- Optional: salt, sugar, and/or soy sauce to flavor as you'd like (again, I usually skip these - maybe just a bit of salt - to keep a light congee that balances out my sides/toppings)
Staple Taiwanese Congee Sides/Toppings:
- Pickled Cai Xin (celtuce stem - it's like pickled cucumber but I personally like them a lot more. In reality this can be any Chinese pickled vegetable you want)
- Fermented Bean Curd
- Seaweed Paste
- Marinated Gluten (I tried to Google this and all I could find are the KIMLAN ones but there are a lot of different brands and our family uses a different brand. If you just try to Google "marinated gluten" you will likely find recipes for cooking with gluten but if you Google "kimlan gluten" you'll kind the ones in the jar with either peanut or mushroom that resemble what we use for congee. If you have an Asian supermarket nearby you can try different brands and see what you like - otherwise, right now it looks like only the KIMLAN ones can be bought online)
- Vegan Pork Floss (Seaweed or Kelp)
- A stir fried vegetable of choice (usually we do cabbage)
Other Congee Sides/Toppings (Optional):
- Ginger (cook into porridge)
- Sweet potatoes (cook into porridge)
- Chili oil
- Sesame oil
- Sesame seeds
- [Not vegan]: Salted Eggs
- [Not vegan]: Century Eggs
- Anything else your heart desires
- Wash rice (Place your rice in a large bowl and fill with water until all grains are covered by about half an inch to an inch of water. Using your hand, swirl the rice around until the water becomes cloudy. Drain the water and make sure all of the rice grains stay in the bowl. Repeat until the water is clear (about three to four rinses).
- Place washed rice in a pot.
- Add water/vegetable broth to the pot.
- Add optional seasonings/aromatics into the pot.
- Turn on the heat and bring the pot to a boil. Once it starts boiling, bring the heat down to a simmer.
- Mix the congee from time to time to ensure the rice does not stick to the pot.
- If you want any cooked sides, you can cook them as the congee cooks.
- Once the rice and porridge reach a consistency you'd like, turn off the heat.
- All of the other sides/toppings are ready to eat so just take out as much as you'd like of each into a side bowl or plate.
- Ladle out a bowl of congee for each person.
- Sprinkle Vegan Pork Floss (Seaweed or Kelp) over your congee and enjoy!