Rice congee / rice porridge is my all-time comfort food, my go-to meal whenever I feel under the weather or fancy eating something easy to digest. If you want to get congee with a smooth consistency, use rice grains that are easily cooked / soften easily. I only use organic baby porridge rice, bought from the organic store or the organic section of the supermarket. The organic baby porridge rice that I use is a combo of quinoa, millet, buckwheat and white rice. It cooks/softens very fast.
A cup of plain congee, made with just rice and water, has about 138 calories, 1.3 g of fat, 28 g of carbohydrates and 1.3 g of fiber. The same amount of pork congee with egg, however, has 208 calories, 10 g of fat, 170 mg of cholesterol, 16 g of carbs, 13.6 g of protein and no fiber. In contrast, 1 cup of plain cooked white rice has 242 calories, 0.4 g of fat, 4.4 g of protein, 53 g of carbs and 0.6 g of fiber. So if you are on a low carb diet and fancy eating rice, choose congee with a thin consistency, i.e. cooked with more water/stock. What’s more, congee retains heat for a longer time compared to rice, so you’ll tend to consume it at a slower pace. It takes the stomach around 20 minutes to communicate to your brain that it’s full. The slower you eat, the faster you’ll feel full and as a result, you’ll consume less.
People of many cultures turn to rice congee as a go-to meal for those who aren’t feeling well. White rice congee/porridge is an excellent choice when your digestive tract is weakened from chronic or acute illness. It is easily digested.
Thin rice congee cooked with carrots, vegetables and minced meat (cooked till really soft) is my go-to food whenever I need something easy on my tummy. This is the meal that my mother would whip up for me whenever I fell ill when I was little and a bowl of hot porridge always made me feel better.
My bowl of quinoa, millet, buckwheat and white rice congee cooked with chopped garlic, chopped cabbage, carrots, minced organic pork, dried oysters and seasoned with sesame seed oil, scallions, organic soy sauce and pepper. It’s my mother’s recipe.
I encourage you to give rice congee a try the next time your digestive tract needs a bit of a break. It’s definitely a healing dish but make sure you cook it with only healthy ingredients like carrots, sweet potatoes, vegetables, goji berries, red dates and ginger. Go easy on the meat, salt and oil in your porridge.