The Magic of Congee

“medicine and food have the same source. Therefore, medicinal foods can either be seen as healthy foods or medicinal prescriptions” – Chinese Medicine saying


If you are feeling sick, low or just in need for something comforting, Congee will truly comfort you, speed up your healing, and feel like a warm, nourishing 

hug in food form!

Congee, also known as Jook, is a loose rice soup that has been considered a medicinal food in China since the Han Dynasty in 206 BCE. It’s basically a grain porridge cooked until the rice or grain has broken down more/disintegrated. The rice is cooked with extra water, broth or stock for a long time and it particularly benefits the stomach, the intestines and overall gut health, among other things.

Congee has different names and forms in different Asian countries but is believed to have originated in China with rice being the most common grain used. It has been made for centuries, especially for those who are sick. Rice, especially cooked down really soft, is very easy to digest, meaning the body can focus its energy on fighting a cold or healing rather than digesting.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Congee is valued for its ability to harmonize and regulate the internal environment of the body, promoting good health and digestion. By incorporating nourishing foods like congee into your diet, you can help maintain the strength of your spleen qi and enjoy improved digestion and vitality. Your spleen qi plays a vital role in your digestive health. It helps to transform food into energy and also regulates fluid metabolism within the body. When your spleen qi is strong, it ensures that your digestion functions properly, helping you absorb nutrients more efficiently.

Congee also helps to replenish fluids in your body and prevent dehydration. Therefore it is considered extra good in the postpartum period and for breastfeeding mothers. With its hydrating properties and nutrient-rich profile, congee not only provides necessary hydration but also delivers essential vitamins and minerals that can benefit the body. By incorporating congee into your diet, you can nourish your body while supporting a healthy digestive system.

The Ritual Recipe: 

Use 1 part rice to 5-7 parts water, stock, or broth.
Note that white rice is traditionally used. If digestion is very sensitive, then the white rice option is soothing and easy to digest. For a healthier version, try using brown rice, or even barley or millet. 

 Simmer on very low heat for 1-2 hours or until rice is quite broken down. Or use a crock pot set on low overnight.

A nice general congee is 1 cup rice to 7 cups water/stock.

I also like to add 1 cup coconut milk and 6 cups of water.
To add more nourishment and protein, consider adding tofu, a soft-boiled egg, shrimp, fish, or whatever you might fancy.
Or for a sweeter version, add cinnamon, prunes, and ginger to the rice.
Of course, add greens! Spinach, nettles, and chard are gentle and mild, while mustard, watercress, or arugula would add a spicy kick. Adding carrots, fresh sprouts and green onions is also amazing.
For added immune support, include sautéed shitake mushrooms and miso.

Or for the sweet tooth you can add caramelized bananas, passion fruit and vanilla to your morning Congee. It is our favorite!

The world is your oyster when it comes to building your congee bowl.