First snow came a few days ago. My first thought when I saw snow after waking up was "wow! It's snowing! Time to make some chicken veggie congee!" I first developed this dish a few years ago when I was just trying to use up some leftover chicken soup. I threw in whatever veggies I had in the fridge along with rice, and the result was so good that my husband loved it and requested for it to become a regular meal in our family. During the winter time, eating a bowl of hot congee like this is super comforting!
What is congee?
Congee is like a rice porridge. Traditionally, Taiwanese people eat plain congee or sweet potato congee as breakfast with several side dishes. These days, most people don't have time for preparing that kind of a breakfast, but we still enjoy eating congee for other meals. Other then plain congee, you can also add whatever meats or veggies you like to make it into a complete meal. Congee is also very kid-friendly because everything becomes soft and doesn't requires much chewing. My mom used to make all different kinds of congee when we were young, such as pork rib porridge, green bean and ground beef porridge and seafood porridge (my favorite!), we loved all of them!
Cook it in an Instant Pot
Usually when you cook congee with the traditional stove top method, you would be stuck there near the stove, tending constantly to the pot. Without stirring occasionally, the rice could get stuck to the bottom of the pot and burn or the pot may also overflow if you're not careful. Thankfully, you don't need to worry about any of these things if you do it in the instant pot. Just throw the ingredients in the pot and you're good!
Try using short grain sweet rice
In this recipe I use short grain sweet rice, which is inspired by one of my favorite Korean dish "samgyetang"(Korean ginseng chicken soup). I love the combination of sweet rice with chicken soup; however, you can also use regular short gain rice if sweet rice is not available to you.
Don't forget the ginger
I learned this secret ingredient from an auntie who makes the best pork and century egg congee (the most common form of savory congee in Taiwan) I've ever have. She taught me that adding a few slices of ginger provides a hint of flavor that gives your congee a serious upgrade in the flavor department, particularly when there's meat in the congee.
Hope you can give this comforting chicken veggie congee a try this winter!
Instant Pot Chicken Veggie Congee (Chinese Rice Porridge)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 long slices of ginger
- 2 scallions, chopped into halves
- 1 bone in skin on chicken breast, see note
- 1 tbsp rice cooking wine, michiu (optional)
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup short grain sweet rice or 3⁄4 cup short grain white rice
- 2 carrots, diced (about 3⁄4 cup)
- small handful dried seaweed, soaked and finely chopped. (or 1⁄2 cup of frozen spinach)
- 5 baby bella mushrooms, diced
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp toasted sesame seed, optional
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- Optional toppings
- Chopped scallion
- Chopped cilantro
- white pepper powder, highly recommended!
- Turn on your Instant Pot's sauté function. When the pot is hot, add cooking oil, ginger slices and sauté until aromatic.
- Add in chicken breast and brown both sides a little bit.
- Add in rice cooking wine, water, cancel sauté mode, cover and set to cook 20 minutes on high pressure.
- Meanwhile, wash and drain the rice and set it aside.
- Prep all the vegetables.
- When it's done cooking, let the pressure release naturally.
- Take the chicken out before removing ginger, scallion, and all the scum.
- Tear the chicken meat off the bone and break into 8-10 pieces with a pair of tongs, and add back to the pot.
- Add rice and all the veggies into the pot.
- Seal and cook for another 15 minutes on high.
- Allow pressure to release naturally or manually release the pressure after 15 minutes.
- Add in sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce and add salt to taste. The chicken should be very tender and break into thin strips through string,
- Serve with white pepper powder and scallion/cilantro