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Pork and spinach congee recipe

Pork and spinach congee recipe


  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Pork

This is a traditional Chinese breakfast dish. You will save half of the cooking time and the texture will be even stickier and smoother.

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 2 meaty pork ribs, sliced in half (ask your butcher)
  • 3-4 slices of fresh root ginger
  • Vinegar to taste
  • Long grain rice
  • Fresh spinach leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • White pepper to taste
  • Sesame oil to taste

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:3hr ›Ready in:3hr5min

  1. Place the ribs in a pot of cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove and rinse well. Transfer them to another pot of boiling water. There should be enough water to completely cover the bones.
  2. Add the slices of ginger. Bring to the boil and turn to low heat. Add a little vinegar and simmer for 2 hours or until the meat falls off the bone. Leave to cool.
  3. Skim the foam off the top, strain and pour into containers; store in the fridge. If sealed well, this stock is good for a week in the fridge or up to 3 months if frozen.
  4. Place rice in a food processor and grind.
  5. Add some water to the reserved stock. Add the ground rice and cook until sticky. Add freshly chopped spinach. When the spinach is cooked, season with salt, pepper and sesame oil. Serve.

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If you&rsquore originally from the UK or have visited in the past, you&rsquoll know that milk and tea go hand in hand.

It&rsquos how I drink my (black) tea and how it should be done!

Where this recipe differs from our cousins across the pond is in the amount of milk.

A true Brit will tell you that tea should only be served with a dash of milk, whereas this recipe is almost like a tea latte.

But if you find black tea too strong, this is a great option to mellow it out.


I began cooking as a child and feeding family and friends has always been my passion. My kitchen is a busy one. I love to experiment and embrace the kitchen successes along with the accidents. I love to cook and collaborate with friends. I am seasonally driven (I love the farmer's market!), avoid processed foods and focus on whole and organic (mostly plant-based, but not exclusively) choices. In my home, my family has a variety of eating preferences from plant-based, gluten free, refined sugar free to full on omnivore. My goal is to create dishes to please all, either as is or with minor adjustments to the recipe. Where did "Feed the Swimmers" come from? When my kids began swimming competitively and growing into young adults, I realized, even more, how important nutrition is to performance, growth and overall health and emotional well being. Everyone (including the coach during travel meets) would ask "what are you feeding the swimmers?" This has become my mantra whenever I'm in my kitchen cooking for family and the friends I love.

When I’m craving comfort food but looking for something a little lighter, I love this traditional Chinese rice porridge. It’s especially soothing when I’m under the weather. I’m fortunate to live near some authentic Chinese restaurants and used to walk over to procure a quart. I soon discovered how easy this was to make for myself and haven’t looked back! I also love bringing cuisines from global cultures into my kitchen. The flavors and aromas fill the senses and it’s so rewarding to have varying flavor combinations to draw from when I’m recipe developing or simply playing in the kitchen.

This dish simply calls for traditional long grain white rice. You may customize your mix-ins and garnish, and may go vegan, vegetarian or omnivore (shrimp and or pork or chicken are popular additions). Rice is one of my go-to pantry staples and I love to keep a variety on hand. This long grain white rice is US Grown, so you know it is going to be a quality product and you can support American farmers at the same time!

Starting with a good stock is your best bet. I love saving all of my veggie scraps, including corn cobs, throughout the week (I store them in the freezer). When the bag is full, I’ll allow it to simmer for a few hours and always am able to have a delicious vegetable stock on hand. Anything I don’t use within a few days, I’ll freeze, sometimes in ice cube trays for flexibility, for later use!

•Years ago, a dear friend advised me to wash rice in a bowl by hand, changing the water every few “swishes” until it runs fairly clear. I’ve been doing it this way ever since.

•As the congee simmers, you may adjust thickness and add more liquid as you like but be sure to add liquid that is already heated so as not to lower the temperature of the entire pot.

•If you allow it to simmer for more than 90 minutes, no worries. Add more liquid if desired and remember to stir occasionally to keep any rice sticking to the bottom in clumps as these can burn (and you don’t want clumps).

Ingredients-

1 cup long grain white rice

8 cups vegetable stock, or stock of choice

1 1/2 ounce knob of ginger, peeled and sliced into matchsticks

1 clove garlic, sliced thin (optional)

Garnish/Mix ins-

Two large handfuls baby spinach

Two large handfuls shiitake mushrooms, sliced

Soy sauce or gf tamari, to drizzle

1- In a large bowl, wash rice and change water until it runs clear.

2- In a 4 qt (or similar) heavy bottomed pot, add rice, ginger, salt and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, stir well and cover. Cook for about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent any rice from sticking to the bottom and burning. Finished product should be nice and creamy. If thicker than you like, adjust with additional heated broth or boiled water (you want to maintain temperature).

3- Remove ginger if thick sliced, you may allow it to stay of you love it. Stir In spinach and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle soy sauce and sesame oil and garnish as you like!

I love to set out an assortment of ingredients so everyone may customize their own. My kids have always loved this approach to mealtime and I find they opt for colorful veggies and are more willing to experiment with new flavors when they get to choose!


Local Chinese Porridge and Congee Recipes

Preserved Century Egg Pork Congee

A comforting Cantonese rice porridge that you can look towards with the family. The highlight of this nutritious congee lies in the preserved century eggs with a strong, yet unique and flavourful taste with umani components.

While it has a slightly higher calorie content compared to normal eggs, it is a great source of protein. There are also health benefits if taken in moderation including: lowering blood pressure, improving appetite, vision and liver functioning.

  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 Tbsp grated garlic
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 8-10 cup water or chicken broth
  • 1 preserved century egg , peeled and rinsed (cut up into small pieces)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper

For toppings:

  • 1 preserved century egg , peeled and rinsed (cut into slivers)
  • 2 green onions , chopped
  • cilantro , chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • fried onion
  • pork floss
  • 2 pieces you tiao (fried Chinese donut), sliced

Prepare The Pork

The Congee

Hainanese-style Chicken Rice Porridge

A great porridge recipe for toddler!

This delightful chicken rice porridge recipe is the perfect breakfast recipe for the entire family. So simple and easy to prepare!

  • 2 cups rice (400g)
  • 10 cups water (2.4 litres), and a little more to dilute
  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts (skin removed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-inch ginger (finely julienned) (30g)
  • 3 green onions (finely sliced)
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Add 10 cups water to washed rice, bring to boil.
  • Add chicken breasts and bring to boil again.
  • Season with salt and pepper when comes to boil, then reduce heat to simmer for around 30 minutes. Stir in water if porridge gets too thick.
  • Remove chicken breasts from pot, and return shredded chicken to pot.
  • Add ginger and 1-2 teaspoons of sesame oil. Turn off heat after.

Teochew-style Fish Porridge

The Teochew fish porridge recipe for toddler and the entire family is the ultimate comfort food.

Nothing like a good fish porridge that you can whip up without fuss at home. Here is a Teochew-style fish porridge using cooked rice that comes with a firm texture. Be sure to use the freshest fish possible for maximum taste.

Tip: You can also choose to add in Chinese herbs such as Astralagus, a qi-enhancing herb. It is rich in antioxidants, have anti-ageing properties and boosts immunity.

For porridge

  • 500g fresh fish
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2 slices ginger (julienned)
  • 2 litres water

For seasoning

  • 1 tsp preserved vegetables or Dong Cai
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic oil
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp chicken stock

For garnishing

  • 1 tsp fried shallots or garlic crisps
  • 1 stalk spring onion (chopped)
  • 1 stalk coriander leaves (cut into sections)
  • Clean and slice fish into pieces. Marinade with soy sauce or salt (to taste) and sesame oil.
  • Bring water to a boil. Add in the cooked rice and fish. Continue to cook till boiling.
  • Season with chicken stock, garlic oil and white pepper.
  • Scoop to bowls, garnish with spring onions and coriander leaves.

Sour Jujube Porridge

This sour jujube porridge that is recommended by Dr. Lin Liming of the Chinese Medicine Clinic of Health and Wellness can help relieve mood and improve appetite. According to him, it has the effect of nourishing the heart and liver, calm the nerves and aid those who might be prone to depression.

Jujube, or Chinese red date, is an excellent source of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are required for healthy growth, development and overall well-being. It may also improve sleep and brain function.

Note: Take sour jujube with caution if you experience diarrhoea or any allergic reactions.

  • Grind sour jujube kernels into fine powder
  • Bring porridge with white rice and water to a boil
  • Add jujube kernel powder and cook for a while. Serve.

Pumpkin Spinach and Salmon Porridge

Porridge recipe for toddler to give them the nutrition needed. | Photo: eatwhattonight website

A great kid-friendly option is this versatile and healthy Pumpkin Spinach and Salmon Porridge dish. It will require just the minimum seasoning to bring out its great flavour.

One of the best brain boosting foods for kids, salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, both essential for brain growth and function. Include more of these in children’s diets for a sharper mind and to perform better in cognitive skills tests.

  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice⁣⁣
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 400-500ml water⁣⁣
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic⁣⁣
  • 1 tbsp shallot oil⁣⁣
  • Pinch of pepper⁣⁣
  • 150g salmon cubes (season lightly with salt)
  • 3-4 bunches of spinach (cut into sections⁣⁣)
  • 2 tbsp sweet corn⁣⁣
  • 80g pumpkin (cut into chunks⁣⁣)
  • Add rice, pumpkin, water, chicken stock and shallot oil together. Cook until rice softens and pumpkin mashed.
  • Include minced ginger (if you’d like). Season with pepper and mix well.
  • Add sweet corn and spinach.
  • Salmon cubes go in last.
  • Garnish with shredded ginger, scallions. Serve with fried fritters and fried shallots.

Singapore-style Frog Leg Porridge

A healthy alternative to white meat such as chicken, frog legs are said to contain a lower level of calories. One serving of 100 grams of frog legs (stir-fried) provides 70 calories whereas the chicken thigh offers 280 calories.

Eating frog legs in moderation could bring about health benefits such as enhancing vision, promote brain health as well as bone health.

  • 400g frog legs
  • 8 clove big garlic
  • 2 spring onion cut to 3cm
  • 8 slice ginger
  • light soy sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • oil
  • black pepper
  • baking soda
  • corn flour
  • Clean frogs and mix with 5 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp oil, 2 tsp pepper, 1 tbsp baking soda, 3 tbsp corn flour. Leave in fridge to season for 40mins.
  • At the same time, cook porridge. Add one cup of rice with 2L of water. Boil till rice is soft and porridge is sticky (add boiled water as necessary if too dry)
  • Heat oil, add garlic, spring onion (a quarter of it, leave the rest for later), ginger. Fry for 1 minute.
  • Add 3 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp oyster sauce, 300ml water, pinch of salt & pepper. Mix well.
  • Remove frog from fridge (add all of them), and mix fry for 2mins.
  • Cover and keep the dish cooking for 5 more minutes.
  • Add 4 tbsp corn flour, add 3 tbsp dark soy sauce, add rest of spring onion. Mix until sauce becomes less and sticky.
  • Mix frog and porridge in a big bowl.

Millet Porridge with Pumpkin and Chinese Yam

Millet Porridge with Pumpkin and Chinese Yam that’s vegan as well. | Photo: A Dragon Chef

A good warm porridge to nourish the body as well as hydrate the skin, this Millet Porridge with Pumpkin and Chinese Yam is a dish you can eat at any time of the day.

In this recipe, you will find a couple of ingredients that are beneficial to health such as millet, chinese yam and goji berries.

Millet: Millet is packed with various nutrition including magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, antioxidants and many more. It is also gluten-free and are high in protein and fiber, helping to lower chances of type 2 diabetes.

Chinese yam: Also known as Huai Shan, Chinese yam is used in Chinese herbal medicine. It is traditionally used in treating disorders related to the stomach, spleen, lungs, and kidneys such as hot flashes associated with menopause, dry or chronic cough, asthma, fatigue and more.

Goji berries: They are also known as wolfberries that contain various important vitamins and minerals: iron
vitamin A and zinc (needed for the proper functioning of the body’s immune system) among others.

Note: If you’re pregnant or allergic, it is best to take caution and avoid goji berries. Speak to your doctor before consumption.

  • 45g Chinese yam (adjust the amount of Chinese yam and/or pumpkin to your liking)
  • 45g pumpkin
  • 100g millet
  • 10g Goji berries
  • 1300g water (you can use less than a litre for a thicker consistency)

*You can also substitute water with chicken broth for a different flavour.

  • Rinse millet, then soak in water for 30 minutes.
  • Prepare pumpkin and Chinese yam.
    • Clean and peel off the skin then dice, slice or chop pumpkin and Chinese yam.
    • Rinse goji berries a few times until the water is clear.
    • Be sure to skim the foam. Add millet only AFTER water is boiling.
    • Put in pumpkin and Chinese yam to boil for another 3-5 minutes (boil longer if you prefer a very tender pumpkin)
    • Turn down to very low heat, put the lid on the pot and keep millet simmering for another 15 minutes.
    • Remove lid, stir in one direction for 8-10 minutes (you should see a creamy broth)
    • Put in goji berries 5 minutes before you turn off the heat. Take care not to overcook it to prevent loss of nutrition.

    Abalone and Shredded Chicken Porridge

    If you are feeling fancy and would like to add abalone to your porridge, it can also be a nutritious choice.

    In Asian cultures, abalone has long been appreciated for its health benefits, including healthy eyes and skin. All thanks to its rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids as well as Vitamin C.

    Note: However like all foods, it is advised to eat abalone in moderation as it is considered a shellfish variety, and could amount to higher cholesterol levels. Individuals should also note of potential allergic reactions to shellfish.

    • 1/4 cup cooked rice⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
    • 100ml chicken stock⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
    • 400ml water + more to cook till desired consistency⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
    • 2 dried scallops⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
    • 1 tsp minced ginger⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
    • 1 tsp shallot oil⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
    • 1 tbsp abalone brine⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
    • 1-2 small abalones (sliced⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣)
    • 1 small piece of roasted/blanched chicken breast (shredded⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣)
    • Pinch of salt & pepper to taste⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
    • Combine water, chicken stock, dried scallops and cooked rice in pot.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
    • Add minced ginger and shallot oil.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
    • Cook till it comes to a boil, then simmer on low heat further.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Add abalone brine.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
    • Add water if necessary. Make sure to stir consistently.
    • Season with salt and pepper.
    • Add shredded chicken breast, reserve some aside to top on porridge.
    • Add abalone slices. Serve.
    • Optional: fried fritters, diced spring onion, shredded ginger and fried shallots.

    All images are via iStock unless stated otherwise.

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    A Quick Primer on Congee

    For those of you that may be unfamiliar with congee, it is basically the oatmeal of Asia. But it differs in two big ways. First, congee is made with rice instead of oats. The rice is cooked for an extended period in water or broth until is breaks down and forms a porridge-like consistency.

    And second, unlike oatmeal, which in America is usually sweetened to death, congees are usually savory.

    And if you make the rice ahead of time (highly recommended), this Thai congee will come together in the same amount of time it will take you to make a bowl of boring ol&rsquo oatmeal.


    Pressure Cooker Chinese Rice Congee and Pork

    This Pressure Cooker Chinese Rice Congee and Pork is so easy to make. By using a pressure cooker (I used my Ninja Foodi), you can create this Chinese rice porridge in a fraction of the time that it would normally take.

    What is Chinese "Congee" or Chinese Rice Porridge?

    Congee or Conjee is a type of rice porridge common in Asia and Southeast Asia. Typically boiled for an extremely long time (even sometimes overnight), the rice breaks down and thickens.

    Wanting to make rice porridge without wanting to use my stove top, I decided to try to come up with a pressure cooker (using my Ninja Foodi but you can also use an Insta Pot) method that would be easy and foolproof.

    What ingredients do you need to make this Chinese Rice Congee with pork?

    For the Insta Pot Rice Congee:

    • Instant White Rice
    • Canned Coconut Cream
    • Almond Milk
    • Chicken Broth
    • salt (optional)

    For the Stir Fried Ground Pork:

    • ground pork
    • baking soda
    • garlic powder
    • ground ginger
    • soy sauce
    • rice wine vinegar
    • corn starch
    • sugar
    • salt and black pepper
    • cooking oil

    What ingredients do you need to make these Easy Microwave-Fried Onions?

    • cooking oil (vegetable or canola)
    • shallots, thinly sliced
    • salt and pepper to taste

    How do you make the Rice Porridge in a pressure cooker?

    • Combine the rice, water, chicken stock and salt in the pressure cooker
    • Seal the vent and set the pressure cooker on "HI" for 25 minutes.
    • Once the time is complete, allow the cooker to cool naturally for at least 10 minutes
    • Release the vent to allow any steam left to escape.
    • Remove the lid and stir in the can of coconut cream and salt
    • Fill the empty coconut cream can with almond milk
    • Pour the almond milk into the rice
    • Stir and taste and add any additional salt
    • Set the congee to the side

    How do you make the pork stir-fry?

    • Toss the pork, water, salt and baking soda in a bowl until thoroughly combined
    • Add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, cornstarch, sugar and pepper and toss until thoroughly combined
    • Heat the oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking
    • Add the pork mixture and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon until pork is no longer pink and just beginning to brown.
    • Set it aside

    How do you make these quick and easy Fried Onions?

    • In a large glass measuring cup (I used my Pyrex glass measuring cup) add ½ cup oil
    • Thinly slice 3 shallots and stir them in the oil
    • Microwave the onions on "hi" for 5 minutes
    • Stir the onions and microwave an additional 2 minutes
    • Once onions start to brown, microwave in 30-second intervals until the desired texture and colour is reached
    • Using a slotted spoon, remove onions and place them on a paper towel to remove any excess oil
    • Sprinkle with salt and pepper

    Can I use any other type of oils to make the onions?

    I have made these Microwave-Fried Shallots with canola oil and vegetable oil. I think you could make them with avocado oil as it has a high smoke point.

    I would not suggest trying to make these with coconut oil as I do not believe they will work.

    As for olive oil, it should work.

    IF you try any oil other than vegetable and canola oil, I suggest you stay VERY close to the microwave just in case!

    Can I use any type of onion?

    I have used shallots, spring onions as well as sweet or Vidalia onions. The only difference between the onions is the amount of time it takes for the onions to become crispy. Viladias seem to take the longest and never got as crunchy as the shallots.

    Regardless of which onion variety you use, just make sure that as soon as the onions start to brown, you reduce the time to 30 second intervals and you start to watch the onions carefully.

    Trust me. I walked away from the microwave and the next thing I knew, the onions had gone from light brown to black!

    How do you serve this AMAZING Pressure Cooker Rice Congee and pork?

    • Add some rice to a bowl
    • Top with some stir fried pork
    • Add any additional toppings such as fried onions, chopped nuts, fresh cilantro, chili oil or soy sauce

    Tips, Tricks and Substitutions:

    • you can easily make this a Vegan meal by simply eliminating the pork or replace the pork with tofu. As for the chicken broth, use vegetable broth instead.
    • I like to eat this over sauteed spinach for a complete meal
    • store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days
    • feel free to use a whole clove of minced garlic instead of garlic powder
    • you replace ground ginger with fresh ginger - use 1 tsp instead of ¼ tsp of dried ginger
    • instead of sesame oil, you can use any type of vegetable oil

    How do you make chinese rice porridge on the stove?

    Although I have made this Rice Congee a MILLION times in my Ninja Foodi pressure cooker, I have yet to try it in a pot on the stove.

    However, I did find this in a Cook's Illustrated has a rice porridge that is made in a Dutch oven on the stove.

    • Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear. Drain well and transfer to Dutch oven.
    • Add broth, salt and 9 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a vigorous simmer. Cover the pot, tucking a wooden spoon horizontally between the pot and the lid to hold the lid ajar.
    • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened, glossy and reduced by half, about 45-50 minutes

    If you like this simple chinese recipe, you may also enjoy:

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    Recipe Summary

    • 1 cup long grain white rice
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    • 5 cups water
    • ½ pound boneless pork loin roast
    • 1 ½ teaspoons oyster sauce
    • 1 salted (hard-cooked) duck egg, chopped
    • 1 hundred-year egg, minced
    • 1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger root, thinly sliced
    • ½ cup chopped green onion
    • ground black pepper to taste
    • soy sauce to taste

    Rinse and drain the rice, and place in a large pot. Stir in the salt and oil, and let stand for 5 minutes.

    Add the pork to the rice, and stir in the water. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through. Remove the pork from the pot with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Continue to simmer the rice for 20 minutes. Chop the pork into small cubes, and mix with the salted egg and hundred-year egg.

    After the 20 minutes are up, stir the pork and egg mixture back into the congee along with the oyster sauce. Serve in bowls, and garnish with ginger and green onion. Have soy sauce and pepper on the side for seasoning.


    1. For the congee, add all the ingredients to a large, wide-based saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes at a slow simmer, stirring occasionally, until a porridge-like consistency.

    2. Fry the eggs sunny side up in a non-stick frying pan.

    3. Divide the congee between the serving bowls. Drizzle a little soy and sesame oil over each and add the spinach, chicken and eggs. Top with some spring onion, ginger, cress, seaweed and furikake and serve with sriracha, chilli and extra ginger, with some spring onion, seaweed, furikake and soy on the side.

    1. Shallow-fry wonton skins for a crunchy textural contrast to the congee.

    2. For a seafood version, pan-fry prawn cutlets and drop on top of the cooked congee.

    3. Roll up toasted nori sheets and snip finely with scissors over the finished congee.

    4. This version is not authentic, as such, but it is delicious and very simple to make. The toppings I have listed are merely suggestions you can add anything that takes your fancy. Leftover roast duck or pork belly, for example, would be fantastic additions.


    How to Make a Wild Nettles Congee

    All you have to do is simmer white rice in broth for at least an hour. The rice will break down during the extended cooking time and form a porridge-like consistency. Add more broth (or water) during the simmering if needed. Then add your nettles and any other vegetables or meats along with it. Season it however you want &ndash salt and pepper, soy sauce, chile sauce, etc.

    Personally, my favorite congee is this Thai congee which is from my book, The Thai Soup Secret. I simply adapted that recipe by adding wild nettles which, by the way, I found growing next to a small river right near my house!