Chicken Congee Recipe: A Flavorful Twist on a Classic Rice Porridge

Chicken congee is a type of rice porridge, traditionally enjoyed across many Asian cultures. To make congee, you slow-cook rice in water or broth until it breaks down into a creamy consistency. Chicken congee specifically includes pieces of chicken, adding a savory flavor to the dish. Often garnished with ingredients like scallions, ginger, or soy sauce, chicken congee serves as a comforting and nutritious meal.

Congee in Different Cultures

In Chinese cuisine, chicken congee, known as “jook,” is often served during breakfasts or as a remedy for colds. Japanese “okayu” is a similar dish, though usually simpler, frequently containing just rice and water. In Vietnamese cuisine, chicken congee, or “chao ga,” usually features fish sauce and is accompanied by fried dough sticks. Each culture’s variant offers unique flavors and textures, but the core concept of a rice-based porridge remains constant.

Why Use an Instant Pot?

Benefits of Using an Instant Pot

Instant Pots simplify cooking Chicken Congee by streamlining the process. The device’s pressure cooking function significantly reduces cooking time, bringing your congee to the perfect consistency in under an hour. Traditional methods often take hours. You get more consistent results because the Instant Pot maintains a steady temperature and pressure. Plus, its automatic settings ensure you avoid overcooking or burning, making it ideal for beginners and busy individuals. The multifunctionality of the Instant Pot allows you to sauté ingredients directly in the pot before slow-cooking, reducing the number of dishes you need to wash.

Comparing Traditional and Instant Pot Cooking Methods

Traditional congee cooking methods involve simmering rice and water on a stovetop for extended periods. This requires constant monitoring to prevent burning or sticking. The Instant Pot, in contrast, eliminates the need for constant supervision. It automates the cooking process with programmable settings, allowing you to set it and continue other tasks. While traditional methods might give you more control over each stage of cooking, the Instant Pot offers unparalleled convenience without compromising the dish’s flavor and texture. This makes it a valuable tool for modern kitchens.

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Congee

Ingredients Needed

  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 8 cups water or chicken broth
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional garnishes: sliced scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, crispy fried shallots
  1. Prepare Ingredients: Rinse the jasmine rice under cold water until the water runs clear. This removes excess starch.
  2. Add to Instant Pot: Place the rinsed rice, water or broth, chicken breasts, ginger slices, and minced garlic into the Instant Pot.
  3. Set Pressure Cooker: Lock the lid, and set the Instant Pot to ‘High Pressure’ for 25 minutes. Ensure the vent is sealed.
  4. Quick Release: Once the timer beeps, perform a quick release by turning the venting knob to release the pressure.
  5. Shred Chicken: Open the lid carefully. Remove the chicken breasts, shred them with two forks, and return the shredded chicken to the pot.
  6. Season and Serve: Stir the congee well, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with optional garnishes like sliced scallions, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

Tips and Variations for Perfect Chicken Congee

Tips for Consistency and Flavor

Use bone-in chicken for a richer taste since bones impart more flavor to the congee. Add ginger slices during cooking to enhance the dish’s aromatic profile. Rinse the rice before cooking to remove excess starch and achieve a smoother consistency. For a creamier texture, use a 1:7 rice-to-water ratio. Stir occasionally after the Instant Pot’s natural release to ensure even consistency.

Customizing Your Congee

Incorporate various toppings to add depth and complexity. Common options include chopped scallions, cilantro, fried shallots, and preserved eggs. Adjust the seasoning with soy sauce, fish sauce, or sesame oil based on your flavor preference. Consider adding vegetables like spinach, corn, or mushrooms during the final cooking phase for extra nutrients. For a heartier meal, include cooked shrimp, pork, or tofu as protein alternatives to chicken.

Serving Suggestions

Traditional Accompaniments

You can elevate Instant Pot Chicken Congee with classic garnishes. Scallions, cilantro, and ginger offer fresh, aromatic flavors. Sprinkling white pepper adds subtle heat. Drizzling soy sauce or sesame oil enriches the congee’s depth. Serve with pickled vegetables for a tangy contrast. Add century eggs, commonly found in Chinese cuisine, for a unique taste. For added richness, include fried shallots or garlic. Each of these provides an authentic touch to your congee.

Modern Twists on Serving

Experiment with contemporary renditions to keep your Chicken Congee exciting. Topping with avocado slices introduces creaminess. Sprinkle with furikake, a Japanese seasoning, for umami. Adding a poached egg offers a velvety texture. For a hearty meal, include shredded chicken or pork belly. Try garnishing with microgreens or edamame for a nutritional boost. Drizzle with sriracha or chili oil for a spicy kick. These modern twists transform your congee into a versatile dish suitable for any palate.


Mastering Instant Pot Chicken Congee opens a world of culinary possibilities right in your kitchen. This dish, rich in tradition and flavor, can be tailored to suit any palate with a variety of toppings and accompaniments. Whether you stick to the classic garnishes or experiment with modern twists like avocado and poached eggs, you’ll find that Chicken Congee is both comforting and versatile. Embrace this timeless recipe and make it your own, ensuring every bowl is a unique and delicious experience.

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