Pork Bone Congee

November 22, 2022

A simple rice congee meal seasoned with a meaty pork bone stock, also known as zhū gu zhōu or, more familiar to me in Cantonese phonetics, “gee gwut jook.”


I also wanted to mention that you can learn more about dried seafood on our Dried and Preserved Ingredients page. Adding dried fish to soups and congee is common in Cantonese and Hong Kong cuisine. It adds a delicious umami taste that rounds out the dishes.

Although these 4- to 5-inch dried cuttlefish may not appear appealing, they can add a unique flavor to your soup. After a quick rinsing, you can add them in whole.

Our family used dried scallops in numerous congee and soup recipes, so it’s definitely our favorite. These dried scallops can be easily broken apart with a few whacks with the back of a cleaver.

On chilly winter days, nothing beats a bowl of this pork bone congee from the comfort of your own home. Let me know how it goes, okay?


  • 4½ quarts water
  • 3 pounds of washed and drained pork back bones (cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 2 pieces of smashed into small pieces dried squid
  • 1 chopped scallion
  • 1 cup of soaked (30 minutes) uncooked rice
  • ¼ cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • Ground black or white pepper


  1. Apply 1 tablespoon of salt to the pork bones and let them sit in the fridge for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Cook the pork bones in a large pot with 4 1/2 quarts of water and the marinade. Boil for a full five minutes. Using a spoon or a colander with a fine mesh, skim off and discard any froth.
  3. Then, if using, throw in some dried squid, conch, or scallops, throw on a loose lid, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Set a timer for 4 hours and cook the soup.
  4. It’s important to give the soup a taste before adding any more salt. Simmer for a further hour after adding the rice. If you follow Judy’s instructions for 20-minute Congee, you’ll only need an extra 30 minutes after adding the grains.
  5. The rice in this dish is cooked until it opens up like a flower, resulting in a rich congee. However, after you’ve mastered this congee recipe, feel free to tweak the proportions of water to rice to suit your tastes.
  6. Now is the time to give the congee another taste and add more salt if desired.
  7. Serve the congee in individual bowls and top with the garnishes of your choice.
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