Creamy, soothing, and healthy, this vegan congee recipe is perfect for when you’re feeling a little under the weather or are wanting a big bowl of goodness in the cooler months.
- 2½ cups / 625ml water
- 4 cups / 1 litre vegan chicken-style stock* (or veggie stock)
- 2 spring onions / scallions, roughly chopped
- Large knob fresh ginger, chopped (about 2-3 tablespoons)
- ½ cup / 8g dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
- ½ cup / 110g white Jasmine rice (wash first)
- Shiitake mushrooms (from the broth)
- Chilli oil
- White or black pepper
- Spring onions / scallions, finely sliced
- Black and toasted white sesame seeds
- To a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat, add the water, stock, spring onions, ginger, and mushrooms. Bring it to a gentle simmer, then reduce and cook for 30 minutes.
- When there are about 10 minutes left, take another similar-sized saucepan and put it on medium-high heat. Add the oil and celery and saute for about 5 minutes.
- Rinse the rice and add it to the pot as well. Mix for about 3-5 minutes until the rice starts to release a toasted aroma and starts to stick to the bottom of the pan a little.
- When the broth has finished cooking, strain it through a fine mesh sieve straight into the other pot with the celery and rice. Push down the veggies with the back of a spoon to strain all the liquid and set aside. Don’t discard!
- Stir well, lower the heat slightly, and cook for 1 hour on a gentle simmer, partly covered. Stir it occasionally.
- While that cooks, pick out the mushrooms from the strained veggies and chop them finely to use as topping for your congee and set aside.
- Keep an eye on the congee towards the end to see how thick or thin it is. You can increase or decrease the heat to adjust it to your liking. Just remember that it will thicken as it sits.
- Adjust the seasoning if needed. (If it needs more salt, you can also top it with some soy sauce or tamari.)
- Turn it off and let it sit covered for 20 minutes before serving with desired toppings.
Vegan chicken-style stock: There are many commercial brands that make a chicken-style stock that is vegan. Check the carton to confirm before buying. Normally one that is labeled as ‘style’ won’t have chicken in it. If you prefer, you can use a veggie-based one instead. I chose this one as it’s a little closer to a traditional type of congee.
Consistency of congee: It can be made very wet or thick. It really comes down to personal preference. I like mine in between. Thick enough that it’s not soup but thin enough that it melts in your mouth. To make it to the consistency you like, add or reduce the liquid content by about ½ a cup or cook it for longer.
- Diet: Vegan