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How to Cook Porridge/Congee (Stove-top Method)

Cooking porridge is one of the easiest things ever. Even easier than cooking rice to me, because there is hardly any risk of using the wrong amount of water – you can easily add more water during cooking if the water dries out, or you if add too much water, the cooked porridge will soak it up after some time (or you can also ladle away a top layer of water). So forgive me for posting such a simple tutorial. But easy as this may be, I was completely clueless when I wanted to cook porridge for the first time. So this little step-by-step pictorial tutorial is for those who have not cooked porridge before :)

Step-by-Step Photos

How to cook porridge

Wash rice grains, use your hand to give the water a few swirls and then discard water. You may want to repeat this more than once – some people like to rinse until the water is completely clear, while others like to rinse once while the water is still a bit opaque.

Tip: the amount of rice used for cooking porridge will be slightly less than the amount for cooking rice, at least for me. For example, I usually cook 1 cup of rice for 2-3 persons, but when I’m cooking porridge, I cook 3/4 cup of rice instead.

How to cook porridge
Fill pot halfway with water. It is not really necessary to measure the water because it is very forgiving. It is better to add too much water than too little, as the cooked porridge will soak up the excess liquid. Anytime the water runs dry (you will hear ‘popping’ sounds), just add hot water to keep the porridge watery and simmering.

How to cook porridge
Cover with lid and bring the pot to a boil.

How to cook porridge
When the pot comes to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer. Leave the lid partially opened. This step is VERY important. Otherwise, the water may bubble out of the lid and create a terrible mess and also pose a potential hazard.

How to cook porridge
Every 10 minutes or so, use a soup ladle to gently scrap the bottom of the pan to loosen and dislodge the rice grains that stick to the bottom.

How to cook porridge
Cook the porridge according to the consistency you like. If you still want to see the rice grain, it usually takes about 20 minutes.

How to cook porridge
Another 10 minutes and the grains separates. This is the consistency I like. You can simmer even longer for a more watery, finer and more congee-like consistency.

55 comments on “How to Cook Porridge/Congee (Stove-top Method)”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing! My mom used to make this for me when I was sick (with a little mango pickle to clear the sinus!), so this really brings back memories :)

    • Excellent.
      No need to apologise.
      You taught a useful thing.
      It is simple to those who know. Difficult for those who do not know.

  2. Thank you for sharing your tutorial!… I’ve been looking for a simple receipe and I’ve only come across really fancy ones.

  3. Hello,

    my name is Tiani and I am 12.
    I wanted to make my mum congee because she was sick and with the help of this recipe it worked!

    Thank you so much! it may be simple but it has helped ^^

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  5. Thanks so much for making this guide. One of my aunts always use to make this for me whenever I would visit, but I’ve always been curious on how to actually make it for myself. I cooked some up for the white side of my family the other day so they could give it a try and they loved it. :) Connection through food – it’s a beautiful thing. Thanks again, Wiffy. You’re wonderful.

    • Pretty good recipe. I like it as chinese congee, called zhou in Mandarin, and juk in Cantonese, can be served with a century egg, salted duck egg, pork, cilantro, fried wonton noodles or you tiao, deep-fried dough strips. I am cantonese.

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  10. thanks alot for your recipe^^it’s feeling better.

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