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Congee is my new favorite breakfast food. This thick porridge, also called jook, is a classic Chinese comfort food. It’s a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast bowl customized with an assortment of delicious and savory toppings. And it’s super easy to make in the Instant Pot or any electric pressure cooker.
Also called jook, congee is rice porridge, a classic Chinese comfort food. It is also popular in Vietnam (called
The traditional way to make congee is simply to simmer rice in a large amount of liquid for a long time. This causes the rice to break down into a thick porridge. It’s a common breakfast or a curative for someone who’s under the weather, but it also makes a great lunch, dinner, or late-night snack.Jump to Recipe
Your Congee, Your Way
Congee is one of those dishes that is infinitely variable, so you can make it to your own liking. Some people like it super thick, while others prefer a more soupy adaptation.
Some like it vegetarian, while others use chicken broth for the cooking liquid. And you can use any type of rice you like or have on hand—basmati, jasmine, long-grain, short-grain, white, or brown.
Normally a dish that takes nearly 2 hours to cook, with an Instant Pot, you can be eating in 45 minutes.
Put your rice, liquid, and seasonings like salt and turmeric into the pot, set it, and forget it. (If you don’t have an Instant Pot, make this in a regular stockpot on the stovetop. You’ll just need to simmer it for 90 minutes or so.)
Healthy Comfort Food? Bring It!
I think of congee as not just comfort food, but healthy comfort food. It’s the kind of thing I crave when it is cold or rainy
And I’m not saying I have personal experience with this, but I’m pretty sure it is also a slam-dunk hangover cure.
Congee is delicious, filling, and, depending on what you put in it, can pack a whole lot of nutrition. I make my congee with brown rice instead of white, which gives it more fiber and minerals, and a slightly nutty flavor that I love.
I add anti-inflammatory turmeric because it is a nutritional powerhouse. And I like to use homemade chicken broth for the liquid. All of that goes right into the Instant Pot to cook.
Topping your congee is where you can get really creative. I’ve offered a list of topping ideas, but the possibilities are quite literally endless. My favorite congee toppers are poached eggs,
Congee is also a great way to use up last night’s leftovers. Toppings can include anything from bits of cooked meat or fish to raw, sautéed, steamed, or pickled vegetables.
Are there other ways to cook congee?
You can also cook congee on the stovetop by simmering the rice and broth for about 60 to 90 minutes, or cook it overnight in a slow cooker so it’s ready to eat in the morning. I love this slow cooker Mushroom Congee.
Brown Rice Instant Pot Congee
- 1 cup brown rice see note*
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric optional, see note**
- 5 to 6 cups vegetable broth see note***
- In the Instant Pot, combine the rice, salt, and tumeric, if using. Add the broth.
- Close the lid of the Instant Pot and set the valve to the sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes.
- When the cooking time is up, quick release the pressure and serve hot with desired toppings.