Combining soft slow-cooked rice with earthy mushrooms, this silky vegan congee is a big hug in a bowl. It's simple, nourishing and the ultimate comfort food.
This vegan congee takes me to such a happy place; it is a perfect bowl of comfort. Our little corner of the world is wet and cold and my skin tingles every time I walk out the door. This congee is such a blessing, its warmth radiates through the clay bowl to my frost-gnarled fingers. It's just like a big old hug.
What is Congee?
Congee is a type of rice porridge hugely popular in Asian countries. It is usually served for breakfast or during yum cha and can be sweet or savoury. My congee today is a basic congee simply using rice and stock. I love congee for so many reasons:
- it's super easy to make
- if you're on a budget, congee is your best friend really using only 2 base ingredients
- congee is the ultimate comfort food
- you can choose any topping you like making it your own.
I know, I know rice cooked in stock doesn't sound terribly sexy but slow cooking rice in good quality stock creates a delicious alchemy occurs. Somewhere on its journey to deliciousness, the rice and stock combine to create a smooth, almost silken consistency. Add garlic, ginger and sesame oil to the mix and this rice dish gets terribly sexy, you know...for a bowl of rice.
How to Make Vegan Congee
Congee is so super to make.
- Heat a little oil in a large pot
- Add the rice and stock and any aromatics and bring it up to a soft boil
- Reduce the heat and cook, stirring regularly, until the mixture is creamy, thick and soupy.
- Serve with your toppings
What to Serve With Congee
To make my silky vegan congee I simply added earthy mushrooms and served my rice porridge with a side of salted roasted radishes.
Congee plays well with so many foods - you can simply add pickles, kimchi or sautéed vegetables but we have recently planted radishes and I was super excited to begin experimenting.
I am so glad I did. Raw radishes have a sharpness that can be overpowering in any dish but roasting them changes their modus operandi. Roasted radishes are subtle with just a hint of their former heat combined with a slight sweetness. While they could easily be pickled to offset the creaminess of congee, I am a roast radish convert.
This vegan congee recipe screams comfort, simplicity and balance. The combination of sweet, slightly tart radish, creamy rice and earthy mushrooms creates a full, balanced bowl that satisfies but doesn't overdo. Happy places should always be so easy to find.
Can I freeze congee?
Yes. You can freeze the basic congee recipe but it's best to add your "add-ons" like grilled mushrooms or vegetables after you've thawed and re-heated the congee. If freezing, make the congee and separate the batch you want to freeze. Cool the congee completely before popping it in a freezer-proof container labelled with recipe name and date. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Can I swap white rice for brown?
Yes you can - just make sure it is short grain brown rice.
Can I cook congee in a slow cooker?
Absolutely, I have used my slow cooker to cook congee often. Cook on low for up to 8 hours.
Want more plant-based goodness?
Want more Asian-style recipes?
Silky Vegan Congee (Mushroom)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sunflower
- 1 cup medium grain rice rinsed well
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tbs grated young ginger
- 8 cups chicken-style vegan or vegetable stock
- 1 pinch salt
- 6 swiss mushrooms washed and sliced
- 3 spring green onions, sliced finely
- 1 teaspoon tamari
FOR THE ROASTED RADISHES
- 1 bunch fresh radish washed, leaves removed
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sunflower
- 1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
- a pinch of sea salt
TO MAKE THE CONGEE
- To make the congee, heat the sunflower and sesame oil slightly in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the garlic, ginger, rice and stock and bring to a soft boil.
- Turn the heat down to very low and cook for 1 hour or until soft and silky, stirring every 10 minutes. I cooked mine to a loose, soupy consistency but you can cook longer for a firmer version. Add a pinch of salt if needed.
TO MAKE THE ROASTED RADISH
- To make the radishes, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- In a small roasting pan toss together the sesame and sunflower oil, the radishes and sea salt.
- Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Toss through the soy sauce and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle with a small handful of the sliced spring onions and set aside.
- In a small sauté pan, heat a dash of sunflower oil and sauté the mushrooms with a pinch of salt until cooked.
- To serve, spoon a ladle of congee into a bowl. Top with the fried mushrooms and a good pinch of sliced onions.
- Slice the roasted radishes in half and place on top. Drizzle with a tiny amount of tamari and serve.