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Spare Ribs Congee Recipe

Sunday, March 15, 2009 | Labels: , , , |

Congee is undoubtedly a top comfort food for most Asians - especially for the Chinese people, we have congee when we're sick, when it's cold but sometimes just because we like it. This is a centuries-old practice and one will be hard-pressed to answer just exactly when the tradition of cooking congee or rice gruel began. Based on my own deductions, I believe that congee was invented due to the hard times that a lot of peasants in China had to go through. In days gone past, rice was a very precious commodity and not everyone had the luxury of cooking a full pot of rice. Hence, congee was probably invented as the dish uses much less rice but at the same time is most satisfying. Congee is also likened to a thick rice soup and over the course of time, this popular rice-dish has been improved upon and we have all sorts of different congee e.g. pork congee, chicken congee, seafood congee and the like. Note however, that this is my opinion i.e. a statement of opinion if you will and not a statement of fact so please don't quote me - hehe. I suppose that this is my little disclaimer if you like.


Comforting and tasty at any given hour of the day, congee is especially a popular breakfast item as well as for supper. Lately, it has been rather cold here and since I had some spare ribs lounging about in the freezer, I decided to cook myself a steaming hot pot of spare ribs congee. Congee can be dressed up or down so to speak, plain congee is good on its' own with certain condiments or congee can be cooked with a myriad of ingredients for different flavours. Interestingly enough, I was never a fan of congee when I was younger - I think it was because everytime I was sick, I was made to have congee instead of rice by my parents and congee started to have 'sickly'-connotations to me. Now, however, I do crave a steaming bowl of congee more often. Congee is also very simple to make - throw all necessary ingredients into the pot and just boil away!

Tip: Always try to soak the rice for about 1 hour at least in order for the rice to expand, hence the congee will have a smoother texture.


1/2 cup of white rice, soaked (refer above)
3 cups of water (add more if you want your congee to be thinner)
10 inches worth of spare ribs (approximate) - lightly marinated in salt

4 stalks green onions, sliced thinly
Soy sauce, to taste
Dash of sesame oil
Dash of pepper


For more Asian styled comfort food on Tastes of Home, please click below:

Chicken Congee

Watercress Soup Recipe

First, blanch the spare ribs in some boiling water for a quick second to get rid of impurities. Next, place the lightly salted ribs with the soaked rice in a pot with the water and start boiling. Once it reaches boiling point, turn the heat to low and allow to boil uncovered. Check on the congee periodically to ensure that it does not boil over. Boil for about 1.5 hours on low heat. Ladle into individual serving bowls and add the condiments listed above to taste. It is customary to place all the condiments at the table for individuals to add the condiments to his/ her tastes.

For a more fragrant bowl of congee, you can also opt to roast the spare ribs before boiling with the rice.


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Dora said...

I luv smooth congee but too lazy to soak the rice before cooking...

homeladychef said...

Hmm...I never know that roast the ribs first before cooking could make a difference! Nice bowl of congee!

Food For Tots said...

I luv HK boat congee. Yours look so delicious!

Tastes of Home said...

Dora - well soaking will make it smoother - just soak and do something else? LOL

HLF - thanks! yup, I love roasted ribs congee too - its more fragrant

FFT - thanks! yeah I love HK boat congee too :)

shavedicesundays said...

Your congee looks great! I can use a bowl right now.

Tastes of Home said...

^^ oh thanks! :)
in fact, so could I - i would like 2 bowls now LOL

TasteHongKong said...

Sometimes I even used cooked rice to make congee.

tigerfish said...

Ya, I am also lazy to soak the rice before cooking. No no I can't! I need to cook a good congee soon.

Tastes of Home said...

cooked rice? I must try that too :)

TF - yeah u shld!! :)

beachlover said...

my comfort food when sick! add in ribs into congee must taste natural sweet!! a bowl for me pleaseeeeeee.. if I have extra cooked rice,I used it to make this dish too..faster ma:)

Bonnie said...

I have that bowl!! And it's from Ikea!! :D

Tastes of Home said...

oh Hi Bonnie, I bought my bowl from Crate & Barrel :)

Rumela said...

Last summer I ate them at a party and has been looking for an authentic recipe ever since. Now I will be able to make them myself. so i made this Chicken Congee for dinner last night, and it was so good! Even my chicken-loving husband liked it. Thank you for shearing your post.

A Full-Timed Housefly said...

I love congee and I can have it everyday... your congee looks so appetizing , thanks so much for sharing !

Tastes of Home said...

^ thanks! :) said...

I'm thinking of making congee this weekend, thanks!

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

^ great, hope you'll give this a try!

lilian85 said...

Hi, do u blanch the spare ribs first then add the seasoning eg: salt, sugar, pepper, sesame oil, corn flour, shaoxing wine? Or do u marinate it first then blanch it? Not sure what is the order. Plan to make spare ribs congee soon.

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

Hi lillian, I blanched the spare ribs for a quick second before marinating lightly with salt. Don't think I mentioned shaoxing wine in the recipe here, but you can definitely put some with the salt to marinade the spareribs together. The rest i.e. the sesame oil, pepper, soy sauce are condiments that I usually place at the table if I am serving guests, those are the last steps to be added to taste. As for cornstarch, I don't think I mentioned cornstarch at all in my recipe?

Please let me know if you have more questions and hope your congee turns out great!

asianfoodophile said...

Cooked mui choy/pork belly goes great with plain congee.

Grind coarsely some tong chai (Hokkien) and mix with minced pork and make into small meat balls. When congee is boiling put in the meat balls until cooked. Tastes absolutely delicious and my daughter loves it.

Tastes of Home (Jen) said...

sounds good!

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