This congee is light and savory shrimp, chicken, and rice stew with just the right amount of zesty warmth. It is easy to make, easy to customize, and loaded with healthy, nourishing ingredients. A hearty breakfast, perfect for cool autumn evenings or anytime you want a delicious, comforting meal.
Congee (Chinese rice porridge) is a nourishing, rice-based breakfast dish that has been cherished throughout Asia for thousands of years. In its simplest form, it is a plain rice porridge or gruel, originally a way to make small amounts of food last longer. Over the years, the recipe has evolved into many slightly different forms — all with a reputation for being delicious, easy to digest, and nourishing to the body.
With chicken, shrimp, veggies, and herbs, this congee recipe is much closer to a chicken and rice stew than a porridge, but the foundation is still there. I think of chicken congee as the Asian version of chicken noodle soup. It is one of my main go-to’s when I’m not feeling well, but I also love it any day of the week!
Table of Contents
- Chicken – I prefer dark, thigh meat for this recipe, but feel free to use boneless, skinless breast if you prefer. Just make sure to adjust cooking times as needed to reach 165 degrees F.
- Shrimp – Choose large shrimp that are peeled and deveined. Thaw any frozen shrimp before using.
- Jasmine Rice – Delicate, floral jasmine rice is the ideal choice for congee but, technically, any white rice can be used.
- Chicken Bullion – Infuses the dish with salty, savory, chicken flavor.
- Vegetables – This chicken and rice stew features shallots, bok choy, green onions, and peas. If desired, feel free to toss in mushrooms, carrots, or any of your favorite vegetables.
- Ginger – Adds an element of earthy, spicy-sweet warmth that adds flavor and makes the stew easy to digest.
- Soy Sauce – Offers a touch of salty, savory, umami flavor.
- Spicy Chili Crisp – Made with chiles, peppercorns, garlic, and other spices, this condiment adds intense flavor and a crunchy texture. Look for it in the international aisle or try your hand at my DIY version.
Best Rice to Make Congee
Any type of white rice, except for basmati, works for making for congee. Chinese or Japanese short-grain rice as well as Thai long-grain jasmine rice are all good choices and break down well. You can use arborio rice, but it’s not traditional. Brown rice has been used and boasts additional fiber, but I have not tried it myself.
- Cook Rice & Chicken. Add the rice, bullion cube, and chicken to a large pot of boiling water. Return the water to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove the Chicken. Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, remove it from the pot and set it aside to cool. Partially replace the lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook the rice for another 30 minutes, stirring often. For the best texture, I like to use a balloon whisk to stir the rice.
- Marinate the Shrimp. Combine the soy sauce, shallot, and ginger in a small bowl. Add the shrimp, toss to coat, and set it aside to marinate while the rice cooks.
- Prep Ingredients. Take this time to shred or chop the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces. Chop and/or measure the vegetables.
- Cook the Shrimp. Heat the oil in a small skillet placed over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the shrimp mixture and cook until the shrimp turns pink. This should take around 1-2 minutes per side.
- Combine Ingredients. Once the congee is ready, stir in the chopped veggies, shredded chicken, and sauteed shrimp mixture until fully incorporated. If needed, you can give the dish a thinner consistency by stirring in a bit of water or chicken stock.
- Serve. Add a dash of soy sauce and a sprinkling of chili crisp to each bowl just before serving.
The earliest accounts of this dish are Chinese, appearing in 1000 BC — around the time of the Zhou dynasty. In the 3,000 years since it was first crafted, the basic congee recipe has spread and evolved throughout much of Asia, birthing several off-shoots.
In Japan, their congee is known as okayu. In Thailand, rice porridge is chok or khao tom, and the Vietnamese version is called chao. The list goes on and on, with each region of Asia adding its own local flavor and cultural spin.
Yes! This dish is known for promoting the health of the digestive system. Nourishing veggies, tender protein, and slow-cooked grains provide a nutrient-dense, easily digestible meal.
Herbs like ginger and green onion serve to make the congee recipe both delicious and gentle on the stomach. This recipe is my new go-to any time someone in the family needs a little extra nourishment.
This chicken and rice stew is satisfying on its own and perfect for pairing with a number of Asian condiments and sides. Here’s a small collection of ideas to enjoy with your shrimp and chicken congee:
– Pickled Turnips, Lemon Pickle, or other preserved veggies
– Filipino Marinated Eggs
– A veggie side like these Asian Green Beans
– Vietnamese Spring Rolls or Crispy Egg Rolls
– Moo Shu or Chinese Scallion Pancakes
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Shrimp and Chicken Congee
- Bring water to a boil and add rice, bullion cube and chicken. Bring to a boil again and cook, covered, for 10 minutes on medium. Chicken should be cooked through with internal temperature of 165°F. Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Place lid back on pot partially and cook on low for 30 minutes, stirring often with a whisk (See Note 1).
- While rice cooks, marinate shrimp in small bowl with shallot, ginger and soy sauce.
- Prep the vegetables and set aside. Shred the cooled chicken into bite size pieces or chop.
- In a small skillet over medium heat add oil. When it starts to shimmer add the shrimp mixture and cook 1-2 minutes per side and shrimps turn pink. Remove from heat.
- To the cooked congee add all of the shredded chicken, cooked shrimp mixture and chopped vegetables. Stir through and season to taste with salt. If too thick, add chicken stock or water for a thinner consistency.
- Serve in bowls with soy sauce and or chili crisp drizzled on top.
- I use a balloon whisk to beat the rice, breaking it down, distributing starch.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.