After returning from China with our Liliana, and knowing that congee was a daily part of our little girl’s diet, I decided that I should learn how to make this slimy porridge-like soup for her. So while I was up at 1am with a seriously jet-lagged angel, I decided to venture into the world of this viscous breakfast comfort food.
Going off of a verbal recipe I was given from one of the workers from True Children’s Home in Donguan, China (the amazing organization that rescued our Li Li) and referencing several recipes found online, I made my first attempt, and it was a home-run.
BaBa Keith’s Congee
In a rice cooker combine:
- 2/3 cup White Rice (I used a sticky Jasmine “Ko-Ko” rice)
- 2 cups Chicken Stock/Broth (Non-MSG)
- 2 cups Water
While rice is cooking: In a small pot with about an inch of boiling water:
- Add a chicken breast
- 1 T of soy sauce
- Salt and Pepper
- Boil until thoroughly cooked, and then dice into really small pieces.
Also while rice is cooking
- Hard boil 6 eggs
- Peel eggs and dice
After rice is finished
- Combine rice (will be runny), diced chicken and diced eggs.
- Add 2t of sesame oil
- Cook on low heat until rice starts to break apart (10-20 minutes, be careful not to scorch, if your rice cooker is large enough, you can continue to cook in rice cooker)
- Add more water to adjust thickness (Li Li likes it on the thicker side, but it can also be served runny)
- Salt and pepper to taste ( I sampled the congee served at True Children’s Home and it was not very salty, but restaurants in Guangzhou varied from bland to oversalty)
Liliana squealed with joy and clapped her hands when she tasted this. Something a little familiar to ease the transition. There are many variations of congee, so depending on where your child is adopted from the additions might be different. I was told that many orphanages serve a very bland version (just boiled rice). So experiment a bit and post your results (and where you adopted from) so other families might benefit.
- Pork congee is very common in China, so if chicken/egg isn’t a hit, try pork.
- Use a very sticky variety of white rice.
- Call a local Chinese restaurant and ask if they offer congee for take-out. Barbara recommends T&T restaurant by Ranch Market on Hwy 99 in Edmonds, WA.