Ok I’ll admit it, I really really don’t like chicken soup. It always sounds so appealing and smells so inviting but that first spoonful never yields anything but disappointment. My theory is that my brain smells this rich broth and, so often, the soup itself is pretty bland. But that leaves me wanting when the weather gets cold or I feel sick – that is, until I tried congee.

Congee is a rice porridge eaten throughout Asia and is truly one of my most favorite cold weather dishes. I make a huge pot on Sunday and just eat it throughout the week – it’s excellent reheated! I made it two weeks in a row last month. To honor the culture this dish came from, I did a ton of research into the traditional way to prepare congee then adjusted those recipes to suit my taste, make it a little simpler, and make it possible with every day kitchen equipment.

For a traditional recipe and phenomenal video instruction – I highly recommend you check out Made with Lau’s version. I use their approach to seasoning chicken in this dish! Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments below – I hope you give it a try on your next chilly day!

Simply Satisfying Chicken Congee

Better than chicken soup, congee is a rice porridge filled with flavor that will warm you up no matter the temp outside.
Course Dinner, lunch, Soup
Servings 6


  • Large heavy-bottomed pot


  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup mushroom water see instructions below
  • 1 cup jasmine rice rinsed
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 5 pieces dried Shiitake mushrooms
  • 12 ounces boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil


  • Place dried shiitake mushroom in 1 cup of boiling hot water and let soak while preparing other ingredients
  • Peel ginger and slice into thin slices
  • Slice chicken thighs into thin strips and place bowl along with cornstarch, oyster sauce, and vegetable oil. Mix to combine, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in fridge while preparing the rice.
  • Remove mushrooms from the water bath, slice into thin slices then set aside.
  • Combine water used to soak mushrooms, chicken stock, and ginger in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling add rinsed rice and stir to combine, bring to a boil and cover with lid.
  • Do not stir!! Leave rice covered and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat.
  • After 30 minutes, uncover and whisk in order to break up the rice and create the porridge consistency. If the rice doesn't break apart easily with whisking then cover and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Add in the chicken mixture and the sliced shiitake and stir to combine. Since the slices are so thin and the congee is so hot, these slices should cook within minutes. I keep it on the stove for at least 10 though, just to be safe.
  • From here you can top the congee however you like! My personal favorite are cured egg yolks and crispy chili garlic oil.
Keyword congee, easy dinner, easy lunch, easy meal, one pot dinner, porridge, soup