Congee also known as zhou, jok and rice porridge among many other names is probably the world’s most eaten breakfast cereal. The basic porridge may be enhanced by an almost limitless combination of additives and variations. The outcomes may be as varied as the porridge colour, dessert or savoury, thick or thin, soft or firm grains. For example I very much enjoy a fairly simple jok with cooked chicken liver slices and a fresh quail egg put in at serving time, stirred with a little light soy, some crispy fried shallot, cilantro and green onion slices.

Some of the newer digital automated rice cookers have a setting for making congee from fresh rice with time offsets etc.
Congee can be made from previously cooked rice but you will not be able to get the sticky end product from this method.
Ingredients:

  • Rice ( Suggest Thai medium to long grain white rice also known as Fragrant or Jasmine Rice. 香米)
  • Water (May be replaced with a soup or stock particularly for savoury congee)
  • Oil

Method:

  1. Measure about 3 cups of white rice into saucepan, rinse twice with water.
  2. Add roughly 12 cups of water (so your water to rice ratio is about 4 to 1).
  3. Add 2-3 drops of oil.
  4. Put the saucepan on stove top, bring it to boil. You want to stir occasionally, and watch carefully.
  5. Turn to medium heat as soon as it starts to boil. Continue simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. The congee is ready when the rice turns into a porridge-like texture of a consistency you wish.
  • The consistency of the porridge is dependent on the water rice ratio. It’s often a personal preference with thin congee used at a ratio of 1 part rice to 12 parts water.
  • Pre-cooked rice will have a markedly reduced cooking time (typically 50% less)
  • The uniformity of the congee or the homogeneous characteristic also depends on boiling/simmering and stirring times. A smoother consistency requires more stirring and a longer cooking time.