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

How to cook porridge

Check Out: Pumpkin Porridge Recipe

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 :)

Printable Recipe
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.
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 will 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.

Leave a Comment

52 Responses to “How to Cook Porridge/Congee (Stove-top Method)”

  1. Judy — August 30, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

    Great pics, clear step by step instructions!
    If you want slightly gooey porridge, can consider adding a little glutinous rice.


    • wiffy replied: — September 2nd, 2010 @ 10:53 am

      neat tip, will try it next time when I make congee :)


  2. wyyv — August 30, 2010 @ 10:00 pm

    now i can learn to cook porridge from this post.. haha :D nice post~


  3. Cooking Gallery — August 30, 2010 @ 10:24 pm

    I like to cook my congee with chicken stock (normally from 1 whole chicken). I love the addition of 1000 year egg too, but I haven’t got the chance to buy it. Your chicken bowl looks beautifully rustical!


    • wiffy replied: — September 2nd, 2010 @ 10:54 am

      your congee must be full of flavour with the whole chicken stock :)


  4. lisaiscooking — August 30, 2010 @ 11:46 pm

    This is great to see since I’ve never made congee but want to! Can’t wait to see your condiments to go with it.


  5. Xiaolu — August 31, 2010 @ 12:25 am

    Congee is one of my favorite comfort foods. I will drag my butt out of bed when I am sick just to make some to slurp down with pickled vegetables (za cai). Love your detailed tutorial. I do have a bad habit of walking away and letting it boil over or get stuck to the bottom O:).


  6. pigpigscorner — August 31, 2010 @ 12:41 am

    Yes, I agree, porridge is easier to cook than rice!


  7. Stella — August 31, 2010 @ 8:43 am

    Hey Noob, great post! I always crave congee whenever I see it on blogs. Can one use whole grain rice though? I’m trying to cut my refined flours/rices and such.
    p.s. Your instructional photos are great. I always wish I had someone to help me take those-no such luck though (smile)…


    • wiffy replied: — September 2nd, 2010 @ 10:57 am

      whole grain like brown rice? Yes you can totally do whole that for a healthier version :)

      Thanks for your kind words… haha I have no “assistant” for photo taking too. Sometimes I’ll be at a weird angle posing the pot with one hand and holding the camera on the other hand :p


  8. tigerfish — August 31, 2010 @ 10:14 am

    I love love love plain porridge, so good, so so good. Now I only eat such plain porridge when I visit Teochew porridge stalls. I have not bought white (refined) rice for some time already.


    • wiffy replied: — September 2nd, 2010 @ 11:01 am

      u eat brown rice? Ur diet is much healthier than mine, hehe


  9. foodhoe — August 31, 2010 @ 10:38 pm

    I love jook too, but haven’t figured out how to make it taste right… Am anxiously waiting for your post on the flavorings!


  10. juhuacha — September 1, 2010 @ 12:35 am

    I have the same thermal pot which I use for soups. Prefer to cook porridge using the rice cooker as I am too lazy to stir constantly and watch the fire. My previous attempts to cook porridge using the pot and stove is disastrous. The rice got stuck to the bottom of the pot and water spilled out. Had a hard time wiping the mess. This tutorial is so useful for beginners as recipe books always assumed that everyone knows the basic. Thanks for the effort.


    • wiffy replied: — September 2nd, 2010 @ 10:59 am

      I have not tried cooking porridge in the rice cooker though my sis does that all the time … I must find out how one day. Yours is the tiger thermal pot right? yes it’s really good for making soups hehe … Thanks for your encouragement :)