Purple Rice Congee with Shiitake Mushrooms

Congee is a staple meal in East Asian cuisines. It’s a savoury rice porridge which can be as plain or as flavourful as you like! There are many ways you can make congee, and there are an infinite number of condiments and sides you can add! This is the version I like to make when I want something warm and healthy for breakfast or lunch.  I make this from left-over purple rice and I add extra vegetables (which is unconventional, but it’s 50 Percent Veg!).

Congee is easiest done when you have leftover rice, but you can make it from uncooked rice if you’d like, it would just take a few more hours to break the rice down into congee texture. I’m a very impatient cook, so the shorter the cooking time the better!

Purple Rice Congee with Shiitake Mushrooms

The staple East Asian breakfast, supercharged with extra goodness!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Congee, Healthy, Vegetables, Winter
Servings: 1
Author: Laura Lam
Cost: £2


  • Large stainless steel saucepan



  • 1 cup Leftover cooked rice You can use white rice, but I always make a purple/black rice mix with quinoa
  • 1 Carrot Cube into 1cm pieces
  • 1 Celery stalk Chop into 1cm pieces
  • 1/2 inch Ginger Sliced
  • 7 cups Water


  • 1 handful Sliced shiitake mushrooms If using dried mushrooms, make sure you soak them an hour before cooking. Any other kind of mushrooms is fine.
  • 1 Spring onion (scallion) Finely sliced
  • 1-2 tsp Soy sauce Use gluten-free tamari or liquid aminos if you're avoiding gluten
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp White pepper
  • Olive oil For frying the mushrooms and spring onion


  • Add the leftover cooked rice, sliced ginger, carrots, celery and water to a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 1-2 hours, until the rice has broken up and the consistency is thick and creamy. Use a large saucepan because if/when the rice overboils, it makes a mess on your cooker hob!
  • Add a little oil to a wok or a pan, and heat to a medium-high temperature. Add your sliced mushrooms and spring onions, then stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. Season with some salt.
  • Serve congee in a bowl and add the mushrooms on top. Add soy sauce, white pepper and sesame oil on top to desired taste. Enjoy!


You can also do this in a slow cooker. Simply put your rice, carrots, celery, ginger and water in the slow cooker the night before, and it'll be ready for breakfast.
There are many variations of congee, but I add carrots and celery for texture and to get more vegetables into my meal.  You can use white rice if you wish, but I recommend black or purple rice for added fibre. For a traditional congee dish, try adding chicken or pork spareribs to the saucepan at the last 30 minutes of cooking.

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