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How to Make Congee With Leftover Rice?

Last Updated on February 27, 2024 by Lauren Beck

Enjoying a comforting bowl of congee is the ideal choice for turning leftover rice into a tasty meal.

As someone who appreciates the magic of repurposing ingredients, I’ll guide you through the simple steps of making congee with leftover rice. Get ready for a satisfying and flavorful experience!

How to Make Congee With Leftover Rice?


  • Leftover cooked rice
  • Water or broth
  • Aromatics (such as ginger, garlic, or onions)
  • Optional toppings (such as shredded chicken, green onions, soy sauce, and fried shallots)


  1. Separate the clumps of leftover rice using a fork.
  2. In a large pot, combine the rice with enough water or broth to cover it by about an inch or two.
  3. Add your choice of aromatics, such as a few slices of ginger, minced garlic, or chopped onions, to enhance the flavor.
  4. Bring the pot to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low.
  5. Partially cover the pot, allowing steam to escape, and let the congee simmer for approximately 30 minutes to an hour. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  6. Add more water or broth to achieve your desired consistency if the congee becomes too thick.
  7. Taste the congee and season with salt or soy sauce as needed.
  8. Ladle the hot congee into bowls and garnish with toppings of your choice, such as shredded chicken, sliced green onions, fried shallots, or a drizzle of soy sauce.
  9. Serve and enjoy the comforting and flavorful bowl of congee made with your leftover rice.

With these simple steps, you can turn your leftover rice into a satisfying and nourishing bowl of congee. Experiment with different toppings and flavors to create delicious variations.

What Is Congee?

Congee, or rice porridge, is a popular Asian dish made by simmering rice in a generous amount of water or broth until it becomes thick and creamy [1]. 

This versatile dish can be enjoyed plain or embellished with various toppings such as meats, vegetables, and herbs. 

Congee is not only nourishing and easy to digest, but it also offers endless opportunities for creativity in the kitchen.

Tips for Making Congee With Leftover Rice

  • Choose the right rice: Use long-grain or medium-grain white rice for the best results. Avoid using sticky or short-grain rice, which may result in an overly thick and gluey texture.
  • Use enough liquid: Add enough water or broth to the rice to ensure it cooks properly and becomes creamy. You can adjust the amount of liquid depending on your preferred consistency.
  • Add flavor: Enhance the taste of your congee by adding aromatics such as ginger, garlic, or onions. You can also season it with soy sauce, fish sauce, or a dash of sesame oil for an extra depth of flavor.
  • Simmer patiently: Cooking congee is a slow and gradual process. Simmer the rice on low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired consistency. This slow cooking allows the rice to break down and release starch, creating a creamy texture.

Can You Make Congee With Instant Rice?

While making congee with instant rice is possible, it may not yield the same creamy and rich texture as regular cooked rice. 

Instant rice is precooked and processed, which can affect the overall consistency of the congee. However, in a pinch, it can still be a convenient option for a quick bowl of congee.

Cooked Rice to Water Ratio for Congee

Congee on a Bowl

The ratio of cooked rice to water depends on your preference for the thickness of the congee. 

As a general guideline, start with a ratio of 1 part cooked rice to 6 parts water. Adjust the amount of liquid needed during cooking to achieve the desired consistency. 

Remember that congee thickens as it cooks, so adding more liquid may be necessary.

Can You Make Congee in a Rice Cooker?

Absolutely! Making congee in a rice cooker is a convenient method. Add your leftover rice, water or broth, and any desired seasonings or ingredients to the rice cooker. 

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the congee setting, or cook it on the regular rice setting for longer. 

The rice cooker will take care of the cooking process, allowing you to sit back and relax while your congee is prepared.


Congee made with leftover rice is a testament to the magic of transforming humble ingredients into a comforting and nourishing dish. You can turn those cold grains into a bowl of warm goodness by following a few simple steps. 

Customize it with your favorite toppings and flavors, and you’ll have a satisfying meal that celebrates resourcefulness and culinary creativity. 

Don’t let leftover rice go to waste; let it be the foundation of a delicious and fulfilling bowl of congee. Embrace the joy of repurposing and indulge in the simple pleasures of homemade comfort food.


Lauren Beck
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