I use Calrose rice because it’s what I always have on hand, but any medium-grain Asian rice or a longer-grain varietal like jasmine rice will work too.
- ½ cup medium-grain rice
- Side dishes see note above
Put the rice in a large pot. Add water to the pot. The more water you use, the thinner your porridge will be. I start with a 12:1 ratio—so six cups of water for this amount of rice—but if you like a thicker porridge, you can use as little as an 8:1 ratio.
Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Stir the pot every so often so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom. After about fifteen minutes, the rice will look fully cooked. After half an hour, the grains will plump up to about five times their original size, but the mixture will still be fairly watery. After about 45 minutes, the porridge should reach a smooth, silky, creamy consistency. That’s when you know you’re done. (It’s a forgiving recipe. If the congee looks too thick, add some more water and let it cook down for a few more minutes. If it looks too thin and soupy, just cook until it thickens some more.)
Put a portion of each side dish in the smallest bowls or sauce dishes that you own. You can refill each one as necessary. Ladle an individual portion of congee in a small rice bowl for each person.