Slow Cooker Congee Recipe
Congee (a kind of rice porridge) is one of my absolute favorite TCM foods. It’s easy to digest, super nourishing and you can put just about anything you want in it. You can make breakfast congee, immune boosting congee, morning sickness congee, dessert congee... endless congee opportunities. I often recommend congee during the first trimester of pregnancy when it can be difficult to find foods that sound appetizing and are easy on the digestive system.
For the Congee:
· 8 cups water (I like to use 6 cups water, 2 cups chicken bone broth. This amount may fluctuate depending on how thick or thin you want the congee to be)
1-1.5 lb. chicken thighs or breasts
1 cup white rice, (either japonica/sushi rice or jasmine rice would work. You can also add other types of grains or beans such as black rice, millet, barley, quinoa, red beans, mung beans or black beans).
4-5 slices fresh ginger, smashed
2 teaspoons salt of choice (sea salt, iodized salt, whatever you prefer)
Any fruits or veggies you like
Thinly sliced scallions
Minced fresh ginger
Fresh cilantro leaves
Tamari or soy sauce
1. Place all the ingredients for the congee in a 5-quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook until the rice/grains are completely broken down and a creamy consistency, 8 to 10 hours on LOW or 5-6 hours on HIGH. If you are adding beans, add them at this step as well so they cook down with the rice/grains.
2. Transfer the chicken and ginger to a plate. Stir the congee with a wooden spoon, making sure to scrape against the bottom and sides of the slow cooker to mix in any rice that gets stuck there.
3. Shred the chicken, then stir the meat back into the slow cooker. You can either discard the ginger or if you want a stronger ginger flavor, finely chop it, and return it to the congee. If you would like a thinner congee, add additional water 1/4 cup at a time and stir well until you reach the desired consistency. Taste and season with more salt as needed. Serve hot with the toppings.
If you have any questions about specific ingredients for different types of congees, or toppings that might be helpful from a food therapy perspective, give us a call or book with one of our providers and we can chat about it at your next appointment.