Congee and the dinner party

The Doctor (and Neo) joined us for dinner

As a conclusion to the dinner party cliffhanger that I left you all dangling from last weekend,  I ended up scurrying over to Target and buying an overpriced wooden stool that is currently pulling double duty as an accent table in my bedroom.  Yay for grown up-ish furniture!  Because of my stomach bug and JR’s night shift, we ended up ordering in all of dinner and buying an oversized strawberry shortcake instead of having the banana pudding I had planned on making.  For this particular occasion, I’m so glad we decided to do that rather than eating out at a restaurant.  We weren’t rushed through our meal and were able to relax and talk for much longer than we would have if we had gone out to eat.  Another added bonus from ordering in: the loads of leftovers that fed us through the week.


The day after the dinner party was when JR started showing symptoms of the same stomach bug I had during the week (I’ll spare you the gory details).  Poor guy was working at the hospital that night so, using the leftover rice from the night before, I stirred together a pot of homemade congee aka rice porridge.  There are different variations of congee throughout the world; I like to think of it as the Chinese version of chicken noodle soup.  It’s easy on the stomach, warm, and comforting, whilst still filling your body with all the nutrients it packs.

So I’m sharing with you my unplanned version of congee below.  Let’s be honest, I didn’t measure anything and tasted throughout the cooking process to make sure that it was turning out the way I liked.  There is no perfection with congee, but I’ll include real recipes later so you can be as precise as you’d like.

Pre-cooked white rice (five cups)
3-4 cups of water
Chopped scallions (one stalk)
Sesame oil (one tablespoon)
Soy sauce (two tablespoons)
Minced garlic (three cloves)

Stir together on the stove and bring to a boil.  Keep at a simmer until porridge thickens to your personal preference.

There are multiple variations on this theme and included among the additional ingredients you can throw in are fried eggs, minced ginger, and/or any other cooked protein of your choice.  My mom’s favourite version has cooked sweet potato cubes mixed in with the rice.  I’ve linked some recipes below that will give you much more precise instruction than my slapdash summary above.

The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook
Serious Eats

Luckily, JR’s constitution is the stuff that steel is made of so it barely had him feeling bad for 24 hours.  If only we could all be so lucky.  But if you’re not, I’ll make some congee for you as well.


  1. Glad he didn't get terribly sick but so nice of you to make congee for him. It's what we eat when we aren't feeling well or have been eating out a lot, like after vacation. I like your version to add flavor to it.

  2. Glad he didn't get terribly sick but so nice of you to make congee for him. It's what we eat when we aren't feeling well or have been eating out a lot, like after vacation. I like your version to add flavor to it.

  3. The congee your mom makes sounds good. When we were sick we got flat ginger ale and toast....

    Glad your dinner party worked well. It is really nice not to have to worry about someone waiting for you to leave your table.

  4. Mmm, I love congee. Especially during a rainy day and drizzled with lemon and donuts for dessert. So glad to hear JR is doing better. Stomach bugs are the worst (i'm probably repeating myself) aren't they?

  5. Shucks, too bad I don't get sick for more than a day. :D. I'm glad you're both better. The party sounds like it was a success--strawberry shortcake is a favorite.

  6. oh. poor guy. but I do love congee. so thanks for the recipe.

  7. I do love congee especially when I'm sick. Hope you're both 100% now.

  8. Oh hope both of you are 100% feeling better. I actually didn't know porridge was called congee. First time hearing it! I used to hate it when I was younger but as I grew older it was definitely something I sought out whenever I had a stomach bug. Reminds me a lot of my mom too :)

  9. I never heard about this dish before but it surely sounds delicious! Have to give it a try at some point soon, I love soups very much!

  10. things i've never heard of but things that i need to keep in my files! this soup sounds like it will cure what ails ya!

  11. Aaaaaaw....getting sick is never good:( That's good he recovered quickly though. And I like making congee:) My version is pretty simple except I use homemade chicken stock and then shred the chicken meat to put in the congee, which frankly is annoying sometimes coz it makes the whole process longer.

  12. Oooh, I really want to try this!!!

    And stomach bugs are the worst. Puking is terrible (as are other things that come with stomach bugs). I'm so sorry that the plague was in your house for so long!

  13. Ugh, being sick is the worst. Lucky guy to have some tasty homemade soup.

  14. I am trying to imagine the accent table you bought. Photo please. When I was young, my family served chicken congee we call arroz caldo when we were sick. It's my all time favorite comfort food.

  15. ACK. Poor guy! What a trooper, though, both of you, and especially you for rallying and making him an elixir sure to cure whatever ails him! We call it Jewish Penicillin, haha, our chicken soup. It cures everything!
    PS. Have you seen the Parks and Rec episode where everyone gets a nasty flu? This cracks me up every time:


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