Basic Chicken Congee

Course Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 4 people



  • 4-5 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 inch ginger thinly sliced
  • 10 cups water and/or chicken stock
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • White pepper powder
  • Salt
  • 1 cup rice

Toppings (Bold - basic toppings, * - my personal favourite)

  • Scallions or green onions* sliced
  • Fried shallots*
  • White pepper powder*
  • Fresh ginger julienned
  • Cilantro* roughly chopped
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Soy sauce (sweet or light)
  • Roasted peanuts*
  • Chilli oil
  • Fried garlic*
  • Fried dried anchovies*
  • Chilli flakes*
  • Fresh red chilli sliced
  • Salted egg
  • Bean sprouts*
  • Meat floss


  1. Start off by heating some oil in a large pot and frying chopped garlic until golden brown and crispy. Be careful not to burn it.

  2. Quickly add water or chicken stock together with slices of ginger, chicken breasts, toasted sesame oil, salt and white pepper powder.

  3. Simmer until chicken is fully cooked. Remove chicken and add rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and partially cover pot. Cook the rice until it breaks down into porridge consistency. This process may take over an hour so be patient. Keep adding water or chicken stock if the rice becomes too thick and stir occasionally towards the end to avoid burning the bottom.

  4. Meanwhile, shred the cooked chicken and add it to the congee once it has reached it's perfect consistency OR serve shredded chicken separately as topping. Season congee to taste with salt.

  5. Serve hot with preferred toppings. 

Recipe Notes

  1. Soak rice in cold water the night before so that congee cooks faster.
  2. Rice congee thickens overtime so if you keep it in the fridge for later, add some water before heating it up.
  3. Use whole chicken for a tastier broth!