How to Make Delicious + Medicinal Congee Rice Porridge

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Traditional Chinese Medicine has never been a quick fix for anything, but a philosophy and understanding that movement, lifestyle, and balance are important in achieving health and wellness. The beauty of Chinese Medicine is the understanding that we treat the body as a whole. Not to mention, Chinese Medicine has practical applications for you at home in a culinary way. That’s why Rebecca Chang, L.Ac., of Acuworx Acupuncture Studio is sharing a recipe that we can all easily make at home to improve our health and wellness: Congee.

What is Congee?

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Congee, or rice porridge, is a very popular dish in Asian culture, characterized as a soupy rice dish with various health benefits and flavors. Think of it as kind of like customizable, gluten-free oatmeal.  Basically, congee is a simple dish that is nourishing, healing, and delicious. It’s great for when you have a common cold, a hangover, a bout of food poisoning, or even a stomach virus. 

Rice is cooked with a much higher ratio of water to grain than usual then simmered into a porridge-like consistency, making it not only easy to digest but incredibly nourishing for the GI tract. From a Chinese medical perspective, this dish is recommended to those who have acid reflux, IBS, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Celiac’s disease, and other digestive autoimmune conditions.

Read More: 3 Delicious, Chef-Approved Recipes to Make with Chickpeas

The Benefits of It

Let’s talk a little about the health benefits. According to Chinese Medical Theory, energetically warm, cooked food is usually better for quality nourishment. Warmer foods are easily broken down by the digestive system and better for those with weaker constitutions since they are easier to assimilate.  For example, a cold salad may be healthy but can be aggravating to someone with a weaker stomach.  Those with digestive difficulties can experience regular bloating, sinus congestion, water retention, headaches, excessive gas, loose stools, or irregular bowel movements.

In addition, rice boosts energy and increases strength for those who are recovering from illness.

The starches released by the rice coats and nourishes the stomach and intestines, helping those with sour stomachs and acidity. For those with young kids and elderly with a weaker constitution to care for, it is recommended eating the dish plain without any added ingredients. 

How to Make It

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Here’s how to make this healthy dish at home:

What You’ll Need: 

  • – 1 cup of Short grain white rice {or sushi rice}
  • – 7-10 cups of water/ bone broth/ vegetable stock
  • – Salt to taste at the end

See More: Hoboken Chef Julie Hartigan Shares Her Easy Pantry-Friendly Recipes

Additional Optional Ingredients:

  • – Add protein: chicken, pork, beef, eggs, seafood
  • – Add vegetables: cabbage, corn, onions, carrots, celery, pumpkin, butternut squash
  • – Add garnishes: ginger, scallions, fried shallots, Asian pickles or radish, sesame seeds

The Recipe

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First, wash the rice. Then add the rice and water into a large pot.  For thicker a congee, use less water,  and for a thinner congee, use more water.

Next, boil it all and let it simmer for one and a half hours, stirring it frequently. Finally, add your desired ingredients, some salt, and enjoy — there’s no right way to make congee, it’s all personal preference!

Have you tried congee before? Let us know in the comments!

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