Chicken Congee (鸡粥)

Chicken congee (鸡粥, ji zhou) is classic Chinese comfort food, and the perfect antidote to both the cold of winter and a winter cold. Congee is basically like a porridge made from rice (or sometimes millet), but don’t confuse it with a rice soup or stew (汤饭, tang fan), which uses leftover steamed rice and chicken broth. Although you can eat this simple dish on its own, it’s often served with other dishes like pickled vegetables, salted duck eggs or century eggs, and fried breads like you tiao (油条) or scallion pancakes (葱油饼, cong you bing).


  • ¾ cup (150 grams) sushi rice
  • 2½ quarts (2.5 liters) chicken stock
  • Salt
  • Soy sauce, for serving
  • Thinly sliced spring onions or scallions, green parts only, for serving
  • Finely chopped fresh ginger, for serving
  • Sesame oil, for serving


  1. Rinse and drain the rice.
  2. Put the rice in a pot with the chicken stock and bring to boil. Give the rice a good stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking, then lower the heat and half-cover the pan. Simmer gently for 1½ to 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes, until the grains have burst open and you have a thick congee. Keep an eye on the pot to make sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom. Toward the end of cooking, when the stock has become integrated with the rice and is the consistency of oatmeal, season lightly with salt to taste.
  3. Serve the congee with a sprinkling of soy sauce, spring onion and ginger and a few drops of sesame oil to taste.