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.

How to cook porridge

Note that the amount of rice used for cooking porridge will be slightly less than the amount for cooking rice, at least for me. For example, I usually cook 1 cup of rice for 2-3 persons, but when I’m cooking porridge, I cook 3/4 cup of rice instead.

How to Cook Porridge

Anytime the water runs dry (you will hear 'popping' sounds), just add hot water to keep the porridge watery and simmering.

If you leave the pot of cooked porridge for some time, you will realise that the rice grains will soak up all the water. Just add hot water, mix well with a ladle and if you like, bring to a simmer again before serving.

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 litres water (estimated)

Directions

  1. Wash rice grains, use your hand to give the water a few swirls and discard rice water.
  2. Fill pot with water. Cover with lid and bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Leave the lid partially opened.
  3. 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.
  4. Cook the porridge according to the consistency you like. If you still want to see the rice grain, it usually takes about 20 minutes. Another 10 minutes and the grains separates. Simmer even longer for a more watery, finer and more congee-like consistency.

Noob Cook Tips

  1. If you want to be fancy, you can also add ingredients for naturally sweetening the porridge, such as dried scallops, soy beans, carrots, ikan bilis and red dates.
  2. You can use the water for washing the rice grains to water plants (but don't keep the water for too long as they may turn moldy).