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Chicken and Chinese Ham Congee (Porridge) Recipe 金華火腿鸡丝粥

Monday, February 21, 2011 | Labels: , , , |

Congee or porridge is one of my favourite Chinese comfort foods.  Congee can be served as breakfast, lunch and is also popularly served at dim sum restaurants, the most popular being congee with pork and preserved eggs.  The Chinese believe that eating congee helps to alleviate 'heatiness' in the body and is a great antidote especially when one has been consuming too much rich food.  The consistency of congee is different in various parts of China, we have the silky smooth consistency from the Cantonese which is my favourite and we have a version where the grains of rice and broth are clearly discernible, from the Teochews.  The consistency of congee is very much a personal preference and you can add more or less water depending on how thick you want your congee to be.


I used homemade chicken and Chinese ham (金華火腿) broth to boil the rice grains today.  There's really nothing like homemade chicken broth, I also love how Chinese ham (Yunnan ham) lends a rich and savoury flavour to the stock resulting in a pot of congee filled with delicious umami flavours.  For a pot of silky smooth congee, you should soak the rice in water for at least 1 hour prior to boiling, I also used the old trick of putting a porcelain soup spoon into the pot of congee today - as the congee boils, the spoon will spin around helping to further break up the rice grains resulting in the smooth consistency. 


Congee is also sometimes boiled plain with just a pinch of salt and takes the place of rice, served with various dishes at the table.  Congee is extremely easy to make, it just requires some boiling time and your attention to the stove!  My method is more of the traditional method however, nowadays you can use a crock pot where you don't have to 'look after' the pot of congee at the stove, but to me there is nothing like tradition (sometimes!).


2 cups of homemade chicken broth (flavoured with 1 inch worth of Chinese ham) - save the chicken for shredding
1/2 cup of rice, soaked in 2 cups of water for at least 1 hour
2 inches worth of Chinese cured ham - rinsed (You can substitute with Virginia smoked ham)
2 cups of water


2 inches worth of ginger, sliced/ slivered
3 stalks green onions, sliced
Soy sauce
White pepper



Firstly, soak the rice as above.  Pour in your chicken broth and rice in a large pot.  Bring to a boil.  Add a small knob of ginger into the pot.  Add in the water and bring to a boil again.  Turn heat to medium and allow to boil, uncovered - check frequently.  After 30-40 minutes, turn heat to low and allow to boil, stirring occasionally.

Prepare the chinese ham by slicing into slivers and stir-frying briefly with a small amount of oil (1 tsp) in a pan or wok.  Set aside.  This will be served with the congee at the table.

After about 2 hours, your congee should be ready.  Serve with the shredded chicken, Chinese ham and condiments above at the table.



Jay said...

Hy Jen,
Thanks for the loving feedback in my space...
This recipe sounds very healthy n delicious..wanna try n taste immediately..
Tasty appetite

Cooking Gallery said...

I haven't had congee for a while, I should make some again, especially because it's getting colder here (again!)...:(

tigerfish said...

I enjoy my porridge with more "water' definitely cos I love to drink the "porridge" water...hee heee....

Little Inbox said...

I would love to have porridge for my lunch now. :P

Tastes of Home (Jen) said...

Yup, I love congee for lunch too..

Tastes of Home (Jen) said...

Hi Namitha, that's interesting! I didn't know about that..yes def similar :) Love learning about all the different versions from different cultures..thanks for stopping by!

Tastes of Home (Jen) said...

Yes CG, congee is great for warming up :)

Tastes of Home (Jen) said...

Wow, what a dedicated cook! The hardest thing for me is waking up early hehe

Tina T. said...

I was planning on a post about chicken ongee and stumbled upon your great blog! Very inspiring. And we share the same interest: asian home-cooking! my favorite congee is sweet potato congee, which i was planning to make tomorrow...but after seeing your post, i might make for fish congee for dinner tomorrow!

Tastes of Home (Jen) said...

Tina, thank you! You know what? I've never actually tried sweet potato congee before, thanks for giving me the idea :)

Congee Recipe said...

Wow! I've tried a lot of Congee Recipe but yours is unique and I really want to try it. Thank you for sharing it to us.

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

Thank you! Let me know if you have any questions.

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