Immunity-Boosting Vegan Congee (Chinese Rice Porridge)

April 28, 2023
Congee is something warm and nourishing that is great as an everyday meal or if you're feeling under the weather. It's easily digestable by kids and the elderly. At the most basic level, congee is simply rice that has been cooked until it has broken into smaller pieces, with a porridge-like texture. I have added immune-boosting ginger and vitamin C-rich carrots to boost the nutrients of this meal. You could also add small pieces of spinach, seaweed, spring onions, corn, zucchini or eggplant. A classic Malaysian Chinese variation involves adding a dollop of Marmite or Vegemite for a delicious umami taste (don't knock it til you've tried it!).
vegan chinese congee picture overlaid with cute vegetable line drawings.

Immunity-Boosting Vegan Congee (Chinese Rice Porridge)

utensils YIELDS 6-8
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  • 1.5 cups Rice
  • 1 large knob (about 5cm/2 inches) Ginger
  • 2 medium Carrots
  • 1 cup Mushrooms
  • 6 cups Water
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil or marmite/vegemite (optional)
  • 3 strips Kelp
        graphic for recipe card


1. In a pot, rinse the rice a couple of times until the water runs clear. Add the 6 cups of water.

2. Cut the mushroom and carrots into bite-sized chunks.

3. Peel and thinly slice the ginger.

4. Add the kelp, water, rice, ginger, and salt to the pot. Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat.

5. Simmer for an hour, making sure to stir from time to time so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

6. Once it’s ready, the congee will be creamy and smooth. You can add a teaspoon of sesame oil and soy sauce to serve, or some marmite/vegemite. Please note that the congee will get creamy over time when it cools down. Feel free to add more water if you want it to be more watery. Enjoy! 🙂

Also by Debbie: Vegan Chinese “Egg” And Tomato

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Photo: Deborah Tan

Debbie was born in Malaysia and grew up in New Zealand. She loves writing, musicals, and living a plant based life. A digital marketer by day, she is also passionate about visual storytelling. She hopes to show that living a more sustainable and compassionate lifestyle can be simple and fun! Debbie has volunteered for social and environmental causes over the years, and interviewed Dr Jane Goodall on her 2018 world tour. Visit her Instagram @debbietan96 for snaps of delicious food and plants, and YouTube for music.


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