Chicken congee is one of my favorite childhood comfort dish. It is filling and keeps the belly warm in the cold winter season. This dish is also a good cold remedy for those who catch the cold this winter.
Traditionally, this dish can take hours to make. I remembered my grandma would prepped this dish two days in advance. She started off with making the chicken stock from a whole chicken and simmer the broth for days. However, in the modern days, we don’t have time for that or at least I know I don’t. Here is my shortcut version that only takes 30 minutes to make. It tastes just as good with some modern twists. This is also a good recipe to use up leftover cooked rice.
Everything in this recipe is gluten-free except for the Chinese donuts, also known as Youtiao or cháo quẩy. Chinese donuts are basically fried dough made from mainly all purpose flour, which contains gluten. For a gluten-free option, substitute with some deep fried gluten-free bread. Here s a gluten-free recipe for a similar fried dough version. When using this recipe, omit the agave nectar, red bean past, and sesame seed.
For a printable recipe, click here.
Check out my blog for the original recipe and other recipes.
Step 1: What Do I Need? (~ 2 Serving)
- 1 cup of cold cooked white rice (I used short-grain as it is more starchy)
- 4 cups of water
- 1 cup of shredded rotisserie chicken meat (I used Costco)
- 2 eggs
- ~1 thumb size Ginger
- 1 tsp of pepper + extra for topping
- 2 tsp of salt
- 2 tsp of sugar
- 4 Chinese donuts, also known as Youtiao or cháo quẩy (optional)
- Chili oil (optional)
- Fried shallots (optional)
- 2 Green onions
- 1 lime
Tips & Tricks: Substitution for rotisserie chicken
I found that the shredded rotisserie chicken add an extra umami chicken flavor to the congee. However, feel free to use any leftover cooked chicken or even ground chicken/turkey. Just use chicken stock instead of water to add that extra chicken flavor to the congee.
Tips & Tricks: What is Chinese donut and where to get some?
Chinese donuts are deep fried dough made from all-purpose flour, baking powder, etc…These donuts are also known as Youtiao in Chinese or cháo quẩy in Vietnamese. The donuts taste bready with a nice buttery crunchy texture, similar to an American donut without the sweet glaze, but crispier and hollow inside. They are often eaten with noodle, soups, congee, soymilk, and even rice noodles. Here is a great recipe (sorry it it is not gluten-free) on how to make one. These donuts are often sold at Chinese Dim Sum place. They are also sold in the frozen section of the Asian grocery stores. For frozen or not as crispy ones, just heat them in the oven for 10–15 minutes at 400°F or until crispy.
Step 2: Making the Congee Base
Into a medium size pot, add in cooked rice and water. Bring it to a boil. Once boiled, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in between every 5 minutes or so to prevent rice from burning to the bottom of the pot.
Tips & Tricks: Is rice gluten free?
For those who is unsure of whether rice is gluten free or not, you don't have to worry. Rice is gluten free. Base on this website, all brown rice, white rice and wild rice are gluten free. If you don't have a rice cooker, another option to make this is to use the Trader Joe's frozen rice. They have brown rice, white rice, and rice medley. I have made this recipe with Trader Joe's frozen brown rice and rice medley and it turned out pretty good.
Step 3: Making the Perfect Soft-boiled Eggs
While simmering the rice broth, make soft-boiled eggs. Bring another pot of water to a boil. Make sure that there is enough water to cover the eggs completely. Once the water boiled, drop in the eggs slowly. Cover the pot and cook for 6 ½ minutes.
After 6 ½ minutes, remove the eggs and soak them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Let it sit in the water bath until they cool down. Peel of the shells carefully and set it aside.
Step 4: Prepping the Toppings
Prep the toppings and ginger. Peel the ginger with the back of a spoon. Thinly slice it into strips and mince it into tiny pieces. Thinly slice the green onions. Cut the lime into wedges.
Step 5: Finishing the Congee Base
After 30 minutes, stir the rice. Try to break up the rice with the back of the ladle. At this point, the rice should break up, and the broth is a little starchy.
Add in the chicken and half of the minced gingers. Save the other half of the gingers for later.
Season with salts, sugars, and peppers. Taste and feel free to increase the seasoning if needed.
Tips & Tricks: How to make a smoother chicken congee?
In my opinion, a perfect congee is starchy and smooth, meaning all the grains of cooked rice are fully broken down to the point that they melt in your mouth. This is similar to how cream of soups are smooth and creamy. However, that would take super long to make. To achieve this smooth and creamy texture, simmer the congee (the first step) for 1 hours while stirring constantly to prevent the rice from burning at the bottom of the pot. Add more water if needed.
Step 6: Serving
Ladle some congee into a serving bowl. Top off with some gingers, green onions, black peppers, chili oil, and fried shallots. Cut the soft-boiled eggs into half and add to the congee.
Serve chicken congee with lime wedges and a side of Chinese donuts. Feel free to cut the Chinese donuts into bite size pieces. To eat, squeeze in a bite of lime juice. Mix up all the topping. Dip in the Chinese donuts or add them in and let them absorb the delicious congee broth.
Each bite will warm up your belly. Enjoy!