Congee is a popular rice dish in the Philippines that is loved by everybody! It’s heartwarming, delicious, and great to eat for breakfast or on those days you feel sick or cold!
I love Congee- it brings me back to those days where I had no responsibilities except to sleep and eat. Nowadays I usually eat Congee on those cold days, for breakfast, or when I feel under the weather. Like many Filipino Recipes, this is my way to make Congee. Enjoy!
What is Congee:
Congee is a rice dish popular in Asian countries and is commonly served to children who feel sick because it’s so heartwarming- it brings comfort.
The consistency of Congee is sticky since many people use sticky rice. Some people use regular rice or even brown rice, but I found using brown rice didn’t get the sticky consistency as sticky rice.
And what makes it tastier are the spices that are included in the ingredients such as garlic, onion, shallots, ginger, turmeric, soy sauce, sesame oil, and the list can go on.
Most people add in chicken meat to Congee, but for vegan/vegetarians like me, we have many choices as a substitute to meat or you can just simply use mushrooms. My favorite kind of mushrooms to use in Congee are shitake mushrooms, but feel free to use what you have available.
Read on below on what delicious meat substitute I added in!
Tips and Tricks for Making This Vegetarian Congee Recipe:
- Giving time for the sticky rice to cook is always great when cooking congee. Having the sticky rice softened gives the congee a tastier sticky texture.
- To save time in cooking the sticky rice, soak the rice in advance. Recommendations is at least an hour before starting to cook your vegetarian congee.
- If you have fresh herbs like ginger or lemongrass, these are the best to use for the congee. But the powdered ones also works great!
- When sauteing the spices like garlic, onion, and ginger, be careful not to burn them or your congee will turn bitter.
- Feel free to use vegetable broth or vegetable stock with low sodium in place of water for more flavor.
- If you can’t find fresh shitake mushrooms, dried shiktake mushroom works just as well. Be sure to soak it for at least 15 minutes before using it.
How to Make this Vegetarian Congee Recipe:
Gather the ingredients for this Vegetarian Congee and once the ingredients are all ready, let’s begin!
- garlic, minced
- white onion, diced
- soy meat protein (depending on your choice of soy meat, you may need to soak it in hot water for 5 minutes)
- ginger, minced
- fresh lemongrass, minced
- sticky rice washed and drained
- turmeric powder
- mushroom powder
- Pinch of pepper
- Salt & pepper to taste
- soy sauce
- sesame oil
Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and add oil. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute:
Saute the garlic it becomes browned and remove half and set aside:
Add onions and cook until translucent:
Then add the soy protein and cook for about 2-3 minutes:
Add the ginger, water, and allow it to boil:
Add the lemongrass to the simmering congee base:
After adding the lemongrass, add the sticky rice, and cover with the lid, and allow to cook for about 15-20 minutes stirring continuously:
Let it cook until the rice has softened and it looks like this, you can now season the vegetarian congee:
Add the seasonings and cook for about 2 more minutes. First, add the turmeric powder:
Then add the salt:
Add in the pepper:
Finally, add the mushroom powder and mix well:
Finally, garnish with the browned garlic, green onion, and boiled egg and serve hot. Also, feel free to season with soy sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions for the Vegetarian Congee Recipe:
Q: What’s the difference between congee, arroz caldo, and lugaw?
A: Lugaw is simply put as porridge, and boiling the sticky rice and seasoning it with salt. Arroz caldo also has the same porridge base but it is more gingery and the main meat added to it is chicken. Congee is almost similar to rice porridge and has add-ons, depending on what place it is cooked. It is mainly a dish in the Asian countries and in Africa.
Q: Can congee be cooked in advance and kept frozen?
A: Yes, you can cook congee in advance. Just thaw it and simmer again to soften it. If you find it a little bit too sticky, you can add more water and season again according to your taste.
Q: Do you need to soak the rice in water before cooking it?
A: Soaking the rice for some time softens it quicker when you cook it. Saves you a huge cooking time!
Some of my favorite breakfast recipes to eat with Congee:
Additional Delicious Filipino Recipes:
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 med size white onion diced
- 6 pcs soy meat protein pending on your choice of soy meat, you may need to soak it in hot water for 5 minutes
- ½ tablespoon ginger minced
- 4 cups of water*
- 1 teaspoon of fresh lemongrass minced
- 1 cup of sticky rice washed and drained
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon mushroom powder
- Pinch of pepper
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and add oil. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute or until it becomes browned and remove half and set aside.
- Add onions and cook until translucent, then add the soy protein and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the ginger, water, and allow it to boil.
- Add the emongrass, sticky rice, and cover with the lid, and allow to cook for about 15-20 minutes stirring continuously or until the rice has softened.
- Add the seasonings and cook for about 2 more minutes
- Finally, garnish with the browned garlic, green onion, and boiled egg.
- Serve hot.
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