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Vietnamese Chicken Congee

Congee is a rice porridge and comfort food (usually eaten for breakfast) is commonly eaten in Asian countries such as China, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Burma and India just to name a few. It is also called Poor Man's Food or Sick Man's Food is because you only require about 6 parts water and 1 part of rice and may be eaten when one is sick since it is easy on the digestive system.

Each Asian country has its own variations when cooking rice porridge. Congee made in different countries use different type of rice with different amounts of water resulting in a thicker or looser type of congee consistency. Popular flavourings consist of salt and pepper, garlic or ginger, fish sauce and pickled stuff. In Vietnam, rice porridge is simply called cháo cooked with sometimes pandan leaves, garlic and sometimes ginger. The popular kind of cháo in Vietnamese culture is when they add pig or duck's vital organs such as heart and liver. I just prefer cháo cooked just cooked chicken. In China, they like their congee with salted duck egg, one century duck egg, tofu and other fermented foods.

My mum and dad used to make chicken congee when I was sick and it did make me feel a lot better and recovered. And if it was the main meal of the day mum would add special types of food into it like the chicken/pork organs and to give it more of a bulk and colour mum would add in mung beans.

Today I will be showing you how to make my version of Chicken Congee or Chicken Rice Porridge

Vietnamese Chicken Congee


For the broth/stock
  • 2 to 3L water (i added 4 because i like my congee loose)
  • 1/2 kg of chicken pieces (thighs/drum sticks etc)
  • 1 piece of ginger peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped

For the Congee

  • 1 cup of jasmine rice (rinse and drain well)
  • fish sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Garnishes (optional)

  • shallots
  • fried onion
  • fish sauce or soy sauce
  • pickled stuff
  • mint, thai basil leaves (any herbs)


Firstly in a big stock pot, put the garlic and ginger in a 4 litres of cold water and boil and them let simmer. Add the chicken to cook for about 20 minutes or under cooked through. Check it but taking one chicken out and cut through with a knife. When it's cooked remove the chicken. I like to put cold water over the chicken to stop the cooking process because you do not want to chicken to dry. Leave to cool and shred meat and off the bones and leave aside. Put the stock onto medium high.

The next step is to rinse and drain the rice. Then add the rice into the stock and cook until rice is broken. This will take 2 hours to cook. Add 3 to 4 squirts of fish sauce (depending on you), salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the congee into soup bowls and top with the shredded chicken, herbs, shallots, pickled stuff and the fried onions. You can add an additional squirt of fish sauce if you like :).

That's my version of congee. Hope you enjoy! Maybe next time I will make century duck egg with congee :).


  1. i cant belive i havent tried cooking congee before. maybe it's because sous chef doesnt like it...and congee is widely available cheaply here..but i still wanna try one day...maybe i should make indonesian style congee :)

    yours sound closer to its chinese cousin, easy to make and would be perfect for breakfast on a cold morning

  2. i didn't realize there were variations of congee from countries other than china...

  3. @justin - well now you know. it's all the same to me anyway :P

    @rita yeah there are different varieties. my partner is chinese and he likes it with old egg eww hehe

  4. chao is so great, esp. when the weather is cold or after a night out. great version!

  5. I love congee and I can have it everyday :) This recipe almost the same as cantonese chicken porridge except that I garnish with shredded spring onion and crispy shredded ginger and shallots.

  6. Great read, i love food especially Buckeyes Chicken