20-Minute Congee

June 7, 2022


Shocking information! In just 20 minutes, you can prepare exquisite congee with slow-cooked flavor. I’m not referring to utilizing a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot. If you follow the instructions on this page, you’ll be able to reduce the time it takes to cook congee by at least two-thirds, if not more.

If you’ve ever cooked congee before, you know that this claim is flimsy at best. But bear with me.


Here’s all you need to know about congee: Traditionally, congee is served for breakfast or as part of a dim sum dinner in China. It can be sweet or savory, with pork, scallions, ginger, and a thousand-year-old egg as the traditional toppings. The most frequent method of making congee is to cook rice in a big amount of water and then add other ingredients.


My cousin in Shanghai is aware that we have a food blog, so pay attention to this. She will occasionally email me information or recipes that she thinks I’d enjoy. It drew my interest because, like you, I assumed there was no way anybody could make a decent congee in 15 minutes, much less an excellent one. She recently emailed me a recipe for 15-minute congee, and I was immediately intrigued.

As a result, spending the extra 15 minutes to find out was well worth it. The congee did not reach the correct consistency after 15 minutes, so I increased the cooking time to 20 minutes. This resulted in the texture you see in our photos.

What’s the big deal? To freeze rice in advance, follow these steps: Rinse, drain, and place rice in a zip-top bag (or freezer-safe container). For at least eight hours, keep it in the freezer.

The rice’s fluid freezes, expands, and fractures the kernel into tiny pieces, according to research, resulting in a significant reduction in cooking time. I was able to cook barley, brown, red, and black rice using this approach. Other than white rice, the cooking time for grains other than white rice is slightly longer.

Having a bag of washed rice in my freezer is now a habit of mine. Making congee no longer necessitates advance planning and a significant time commitment on my part. There are no restrictions on how often I can consume it.

This is an entirely new experience!

Classic Recipe

However revolutionary this new cooking method may be, the original recipe for congee with pork and a thousand year old egg has been enjoyed by Cantonese families for generations.

The thousand-year-old egg is the obvious problem. Inspiring both terror and horror, I’m not sure how it came to have this moniker. The image of a poor girl choking on a thousand-year-old egg from Fear Factor comes to mind.

Using a thousand year old egg in this dish is a great way to experiment. If you’re not feeling particularly brave, you may easily omit the egg from the recipe.

In addition, for those of us who grew up on this congee and miss its authentic Cantonese flavors, this version is like a warm embrace from home.


  • 115g of juliennedpork shoulder
  • ¾ cup of white rice
  • 7 cups water or chicken broth
  • 2 thousand year-old eggs
  • 3 slices of ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground white pepper
  • Salt
  • Chopped scallion and cilantro


  1. Rinse and drain the rice before putting it in a zip-lock bag or other freezer-safe container for future use. At least 8 hours in the freezer is required.
  2. For around 15 to 20 minutes, marinate the pork in the cornstarch, oyster sauce, and vegetable oil.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 7 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture back to a boil, adding the frozen rice (which does not need to be defrosted). To prevent the rice from sticking, stir it regularly. Cook for 15 minutes with the lid on at a low simmer. Stir the congee every few minutes to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. In order to avoid sticking, always start stirring from the bottom up.
  4. Dice the thousand-year-old egg and keep it separate while the rest of the meal is cooking. Julienne the ginger so that it is as thin as possible. Avoid making this in advance since we prefer the flavor of freshly sliced ginger.
  5. After 15 minutes, add the ginger, pork, and thousand-year-old egg that have been julienned. Continue stirring and simmering for a further 5 minutes. Add the freshly ground white pepper and salt to taste, and then finish by combining everything together. Sliced scallions and cilantro should be garnished on the side.
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