Instant Pot Congee
Published Feb 24, 2019•Updated Jul 10, 2023
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Instant Pot Congee is cozy, comforting, and incredibly simple to make. The Instant Pot makes this creamy rice porridge fast and entirely hands-off. All you need is three ingredients and about 30 minutes.
Even though congee originates from China, it’s popular all over Asia and was a staple for Frank and I when we lived in Thailand. When I walked to work on warm Bangkok mornings I would pass vendors ladling steaming hot congee into bowls at stalls along the street. It turns fragrant when handfuls of fresh herbs are piled on top. Morning, noon, or night, if I feel a cold coming on, or just something warm and comforting, congee is my go-to. And if you have an Instant Pot, you should keep this simple, budget-friendly recipe in your back pocket too!
What is Congee?
Congee, also called Jook, is rice porridge that is made by simmering a small amount of rice in a large amount of water until the rice breaks down and turns silky and smooth. It is a savory, comforting meal that can be served any time of day and finished with a variety of toppings.
For making congee in the Instant Pot, the ratio should is 1:8 rice to water.
Step-by-Step Instructions: Instant Pot Congee
- Rinse the rice to remove excess starch.
- Pressure cook. Combine rice, water, and salt in the bowl of an Instant Pot / pressure cooker. Add a knob of fresh ginger for fragrant flavor. Close and lock the lid and pressure cook on high for 22 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally. Don’t open it early or starch may clog the valve.
- Serve warm with your favorite toppings
Toppings for Instant Pot Congee
The best part of congee is the toppings! The sky is the limit, but here are some favorites:
- Fresh herbs (cilantro, green onions)
- Roasted peanuts
- Toasted coconut
- Fish sauce or soy sauce
- Crispy bacon
- Soft or hard boiled eggs
- Crispy fried shallots or garlic
- Sautéed mushrooms
- Shredded chicken or pork
- Sliced chili peppers
How to Make Crispy Fried Shallots for Congee
I love mixing up my congee toppings, but there always has to be something with crunch. Crispy fried shallots have the tiniest bit of natural sweetness and awesome crunch. They’re like tiny little onion rings, and disappear crazy fast.
To make crispy fried shallots:
- Slice the shallots evenly (so they finish cooking at the same time)
- Add the shallots to room temperature oil and bring the heat up slowly
- Fry the shallots slowly, stirring often, until golden brown, ~10 minutes
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shallots to a paper towel-lined plate
- Sprinkle with some salt
- Serve within 2-3 days!
Variations on Instant Pot Congee
- Flavor with chicken – Add skinless chicken drumsticks or thighs to the rice as it cooks. After cooking, shred the chicken back into the congee and discard the bones.
- Flavor with pork – Same as above, but add pork shoulder or ham bones to the rice while it cooks.
- Flavor with mushrooms – Add dried shiitakes to the rice as it cooks.
Congee can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove to serve. The congee may thicken as it sits, so stir in some water if needed.
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Instant Pot Congee Recipe
- 6-quart Instant Pot / pressure cooker
- 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
- 8 cups water
- 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Rinse rice under cool water.
- Combine rice, water, ginger, and salt in the bowl of an Instant Pot / pressure cooker. (Note: If using ginger, add the piece of grated ginger whole so that it will infuse the congee with flavor but can be removed at the end of cooking. If you like a more intense ginger flavor, you can grate the ginger into the congee, but use half as much as listed.)
- Close and lock the lid.
- Set the pressure cook / manual setting on high for 22 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally. (Note: This is important. Congee is very starchy and, if the pressure is manually released, it may foam and clog the pressure release valve.)
- If you added a whole piece of ginger to the congee, remove and discard the ginger.
- Unlock the lid. Serve congee warm.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.