Healthy Comfort Food Bring It
I think of congee as not just comfort food, but healthy comfort food. Its the kind of thing I crave when it is cold or rainy out, when I feel like Im coming down with something, or when I have a full-blown cold.
And Im not saying I have personal experience with this, but Im pretty sure it is also a slam-dunk hangover cure.
Congee is delicious, filling, and, depending on what you put in it, can pack a whole lot of nutrition. I make my congee with brown rice instead of white, which gives it more fiber and minerals, and a slightly nutty flavor that I love.
I add anti-inflammatory turmeric because it is a nutritional powerhouse. And I like to use homemade chicken broth for the liquid. All of that goes right into the Instant Pot to cook.
Topping your congee is where you can get really creative. Ive offered a list of topping ideas, but the possibilities are quite literally endless. My favorite congee toppers are poached eggs, chile paste, soy sauce, slivered fresh ginger, and fried shallots.
Congee is also a great way to use up last nights leftovers. Toppings can include anything from bits of cooked meat or fish to raw, sautéed, steamed, or pickled vegetables.
What Does Congee Taste Like
Congee is a fairly mild dish, but the flavor is deep. Oh so deliciously deep. This version, made with chicken, has a mild chicken flavor, with a little extra umami kick from mushrooms, and a lovely ginger base note. I found the congee to be so velvety smooth and delicious that I could happily slurp it up on its own, but when I started adding fun toppings the meal was elevated to super-star status.
Pressure Cook Chicken Congee
Now, add ginger, 5-6 chicken drumsticks and 6.5 7 cups of cold water in Instant Pot.
*Rice to Water Ratio: 1 cup rice to 9 9.75 cups of water.
*Pro Tip: Do not add salt at this point.
With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position.
- Pressure Cooking Method: Pressure cook at High Pressure for 30 minutes + Natural Release.
Then, open the lid carefully.
*Note: The congee will look watery at this point. Thats perfectly normal!
All you have to do is heat up the Instant Pot using the Sauté function.
Start stirring the congee with a wooden spoon until your desired thickness & consistency.
Lastly, taste & season the Instant Pot Congee with salt.
Read Also: Frozen Pork Loin Recipes
Vegan Instant Pot Congee
Its soup season, and what could be better than a warming bowl of congee!?
Especially when its topped with spicy saté, king oyster mushrooms, green onions, and crispy shallots! Its fast, delicious, and so comforting!
The congee itself could not be easier. Simply add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot and pressure cook for 12 minutes. I went with a combination of broken jasmine rice and mung beans for extra protein. Then we add water, salt, a bit of sugar, and ground black pepper.
The rice soup makes the base, but its really all about the toppings! And there is a lot going on there: spicy lemongrass saté, soy-glazed king oysters, crispy fried shallots, green onions, and optionally, fried bread sticks!
While the soup is cooking, prepare the toppings:
- Saté: Its a condiment that has a strong lemongrass flavor. Its spicy, garlicky, and adds a ton of flavor once stirred into the congee. Learn how to make your own saté here!
- King oyster mushrooms: You can use any mushrooms, sauté in a skillet and then deglaze with soy sauce and maple syrup.
- Crispy shallots: Once fried, shallots become sweet and super crispy!
- Your favorite aromatic herbs: I went with green onions, but feel free to also add chopped cilantro or basil!
- Spicy pickled cucumbers: for extra texture, sourness, and spiciness.
- You tiao: while optional, these fried bread sticks add a nice crunch.
Please do not omit the saté, its a key ingredient as it adds a lot of flavor to the soup!
Congee And The Stomach/spleen
It’s beyond the scope of a recipe post to dive into Chinese Medicine theory, but I’ll provide you with some links and books you can check out to learn more. I’d also like to write more about Chinese Medicine here on the blog, too, if you’re interested in that! Very briefly, Chinese Medicine identifies 12 major organ systems and categorizes them into 5 elements:
Water: Bladder & Kidney
Wood: Gallbladder & Liver
Fire: Small Intestine, Heart, Pericardium, San Jiao
Earth: Stomach & Spleen
Metal: Large Intestine & Lung
I just want to point out that I KNOW this can sound very strange when you’re first exposed to it, but please remember that I am a highly skeptical scientist. Neuroscientist, actually. And, using my critical scientist brain I’ve arrived at a place where I put my trust in this ancient medicine. It’s not woo woo. The World Health Organization and National Institutes of Health agree.
So, in Chinese Medicine, the spleen, pancreas, and stomach need to be able to transform and transport the food that you eat so that it may nourish your body. The best way to help these organs have the easiest job possible is to eat warm, easy to digest, soupy foods.
Cold and raw foods make their job the hardest. If you have a robust, strong digestion, then cold and raw foods are OK. But, so many of us who are drawn to Paleo and especially AIP have compromised digestion in some way, so anything we can do to make digestion easier will only help our health.
Also Check: How To Cook Frozen Meatballs In Instant Pot
Instant Pot Chicken Congee
· MODIFIED January 19, 2021 · BY · 977 words. · About 5 minutes to read this article.· This post may contain affiliate links · As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases·
Simple and easy Instant Pot Chicken Congee is such a comforting dish on a cold day–or really any day at all. A few simple ingredients in your pressure cooker and you have a jook recipe that you can personalize and vary to your heart’s content.
Every culture has its own version of soft rice dishes that serve as comfort food. Whether it is an Indian Khichadi, Filipino Arroz Caldo,Vietnamese Chao Ga, Korean dakjuk, Cambodian Babaw, or Chinese Chicken Congee, nothing beats what really amounts to overcooked rice with savories.
Why I Love Making Congee In The Instant Pot
- You dont need to pre-soak the rice.
- The cooking time using the Instant Pot is a fraction of the cooking time using the stove.
- The texture of the chicken congee comes out perfect each time. Cooking on the stove requires a little bit of babysitting. The rice can easily stick to the bottom of the pan and get burned if you dont stir it occasionally.
Read Also: How To Cook Frozen Meat In Instant Pot
Reasons To Love This Instant Pot Chicken Congee
- Needs only 5 ingredients.
- Ridiculously easy to cook in instant pot
- Takes at max 5 mins of your active prep time.
- Set and forget and delicious congee will be ready in an hour.
- Ultimate comfort food for cold days
- Very soothing for sick people
- Excellent for kids especially babies as it is very soft, nourishing and easily digestible.
Why Instant Pot Congee
Here are a few reasons youll want to cook congee in your Instant Pot:
There are tons of methods to garnish your Instant Pot congee and make it even tastier. My favorite way is to top it with sunny side up eggs and drizzle with a generous amount of Sriracha. YUM!
Instant Pot congee is so satisfying and delicious, that I wouldnt mind eating for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Read Also: Instant Pot Frozen Meat
How To Make Instant Pot Chicken Congee
My version involves throwing everything into your Instant Pot or pressure cooker, pressing the Porridge button, and walking away. Dump and cook, just the way I like it.
- Add Ingredients. Place all ingredients in the inner liner of your pressure cooker or Instant Pot.
- Cook. Press the Porridge button. If you do not have a Porridge button on your pot, set the pressure cooker to cook for 20 minutes at high pressure.
- NPR. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 10 minutes after it is done cooking. Then release all remaining pressure.
- Mix and Serve. Mix well, add a little more sesame oil for fragrance if you desire, and serve.
Garnish & Serve Congee
Lastly, remove the yummy congee from the Instant Pot, then garnish with green onions.
*Pro Tip Extra Toppings: You can easily customize the congee by adding toppings like crispy garlic, fried shallots, roasted salted peanuts, soy sauce, fish sauce, etc.
Serve immediately & enjoy the tasty Instant Pot Congee~
Read Also: How To Install Instant Pot Sealing Ring
Further Reading And Resources About Chinese Medicine
I wrote an in depth blog post about using Chinese medicine to heal from uterine fibroids and endometreosis here.
In my episode on the Balanced Bites podcast I talk a lot about Chinese medicine.
You can also browse these websites:
- 1 TB lard or fat of choice
- 3 ribs celery, sliced thin
- 1 small turnip, peeled and diced
- 2-3 radishes, diced
- 1 large shallot or small onion, diced
- 1 pound of ground chicken or ground pork. May also use shredded cooked chicken or pork.
- 6-10 cups homemade bone broth – any variety
- 1/2 to 1 TB coarse unrefined salt
- 1 to 1-1/2 cups short grain rice, rinsed until water is clear
- 1-2 TB grated fresh ginger
- 2-4 cups shredded cabbage
- green onions to garnish
- optional: fish sauce and/or coconut aminos to taste
NOTESFor the brothFor the meat
Instant Pot Vegan Congee
by Emily · This post may contain affiliate links.
This vegan congee is the ultimate form of comfort food. The ingredients are incredibly simple, but there is a lot of room for creativity with toppings! Just a 15 minute cook time to make this meal in the Instant Pot!
Congee, also known as “jook,”is a common comfort food in Asian countries like Japan, China, India, Singapore, Philippines, and Korea. Essentially, it is a soft rice porridge. On its own it is super simple, just boiled and almost soupy rice. But the toppings are where things can get creative.
This vegan version of congee cooks with ginger and garlic in the vegetable broth. I find that the simplest way to cook this is in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker. This recipe can also easily be done on the stove or even in a crock pot!
Also Check: How To Cook Frozen Meatballs In Instant Pot
Tips To Make A Simple Chicken Broth
You will have the best results if you make chicken congee with a simple homemade broth. You can make your chicken broth in a way that works for you. The broth can be as simple as the resulting broth from cooking a white cut chicken or boiling a whole chicken.
I buy 1 or 2 whole chickens for some prep-ahead meals and then debone some chicken for other meals and save all the bones for making my own homemade chicken broth. If I dont have time to make the broth on the same day, I put the chicken bones into a freezer bag and freeze them until Im ready. Admittedly this can feel like a big production but I get a lot of food prep out of the way.
Sometimes I buy free range chicken bones or chicken backs for making broth. I put 2-3 pounds of bones, 1-2 chicken breasts, and fill an 8 quart stock pot with water and bring to a boil and then a gentle simmer. After about 20 minutes I take the chicken breasts out for other purposes and continue simmering the chicken bones for another 30 minutes. This makes about 4 quarts of broth, which is more than enough for two batches of congee or soup. Additional tips:
Congee And Chinese Medicine
Congee is a traditional healing food in Chinese Medicine that is extremely easy to digest. I’ve seen over half a dozen acupuncturists since 2013 and every single one of them has told me congee would be a great food for me to add to my diet. I regret that I waited until 2015 to try it out!
Damn diet dogma….I was so stubborn about making rice a regular part of my diet, against multiple doctor’s recommendations, because “it’s not Paleo”. UGH. Well, it’s part of my personalized Paleo, as you will. Chris Kresser is the big proponent of this concept, and I think it’s great!
Congee has become a staple food in my diet these last 6+ months, although I’m eating less of it now that spring is here . And I don’t give a damn that it’s not Paleo, because it is good for me and works with my body right now.
A big bowl of congee for breakfast feels good, tastes good, and fuels me until lunch.
It is also a great way to pack in a hefty dose of homemade bone broth. If you’re looking for the easiest bone broth recipe ever, check out my tutorial for making bone broth that gels in the Instant Pot.
Recommended Reading: Frozen Stew Meat In Instant Pot
Ingredients For Pressure Cooker Congee
- Conpoy We didnt get our conpoy online as we usually get them directly in Hong Kong. Try to buy conpoy from your local Chinese herbal medicine stores if possible. If youre not able to find any, this one ships from Hong Kong.
Adding conpoy makes a huge difference in taste. Conpoy has a strong and distinctive marine flavor that tastes somewhat like salt-cured meat. Its so rich in umami flavors that only a few pieces of conpoy will elevate the pot of plain congee to a whole new flavorful level. Try it!
If you want a nice creamy bowl of congee cooking from the stove, youll need to babysit it for at least an hour to an hour and a half. Its critical to occasionally stir it so it wont get burnt or stick to the pot as it thickens. But with an electric pressure cooker, you can just set it, walk away, and come back to an amazing pot of congee. How awesome is that?
What Is Chicken Congee And Why It’s So Good
Also known as Jook, congee is a savory porridge with rice that has been well-cooked…Okay let’s be honest, it’s been overcooked–with lots of water. It serves as a blank canvas upon which you can paint with all the savory flavors of your choice. When I started with this Chicken Congee recipe, I didn’t consult any sources.
I was sick, and I decided to put things in an Instant Pot that sounded good, and that would feel comforting, and just ran with it. I then posted in my to ask members what we should call it.
Everyone agreed it was Chicken Congee, but one of my readers Frances said it was very much like a Hong Kong-style Chinese Chicken Congee, so that’s what we are going with.
She also suggested we call it Smooth as Jazz Chicken Congee, which I really like, but doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as easily.
While it is traditionally eaten as a breakfast food or when your sick , I see no reason to wait until I’m sick before I make this Instant Pot Chicken Congee again!
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Today We’re Going To Explore Congee And Spoiler Alert Making Congee In Your Instant Pot Is Literally Reason Enough To Buy One A Complete Home Run
For the latest installment in my Instant Pot recipe adventures, we’re going to explore Instant Pot congee. And, spoiler alert, making congee in your Instant Pot, or other multi-cooker, is literally reason enough to buy one. A complete home run.
You put your rice into the pot, walk away, and start daydreaming about toppings. Return later for a beautiful pot of perfect congee. You can also make this on a stovetop , but it requires more babysitting.
I experimented with different ratios of brown to white rice here. And played around with different amounts of water. I found the congee made with a minority percentage of white rice was texturally superior compared with the 100% brown rice versions. There was just too much separation between grains in the 100% brown rice version, and not enough creaminess. Add some white jasmine rice, and you get that classic congee porridge texture with the added nutritional benefits of whole brown rice.
I hope you love this congee. It is spiked with turmeric, and I also can’t resist sprinkling a few tablespoons of whatever quick-cooking grains I have on hand – quinoa, Job’s tears, millet, etc.
Congee are popular in many Asian countries. It’s a beloved breakfast, and anyone who has traveled with me knows, there are few things that boost my spirits more than discovering a DIY, congee bar breakfast at whatever hotel I’m staying.