Thai Congee Breakfast Porridge | Nutrition Stripped
Eat Well Dec. 27. 2016

Simple Congee Breakfast Porridge

Dec. 27. 2016
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder and CEO

A simple Thai inspired congee rice porridge recipe for a savory, whole foods breakfast.

Oh, congee. When I was in Thailand last year, I had this for breakfast every single day with piles of fresh tropical fruit on the side and I couldn’t get enough. Now that the weather here in Nashville is finally taking a turn for the cold (granted as I’m writing this today it’s 70!), my body craves naturally warming and cozy foods, especially to start the day with. Congee in it’s simplest form is boiled white rice. But let’s dive in a little deeper in keeping this traditional and aligned with the NS lifestyle.

Congee is literally boiled white rice in water or some type of stock like chicken or vegetable depending on where you get it. For breakfast, I like to keep it made with water that way I can add sweet or savory garnishes to the top. Traditionally congee that I had in Thailand was served with hot chili oil, kimchi (both pictured in this recipe), chives, and some type of fresh cucumber and pepper salad. All in all, it’s a fantastic and balanced porridge recipe if you keep these components in mind.

Since congee is made with white rice and some type of liquid, if you don’t add other macronutrients to it, you’re falling short of protein and healthy fats and the ratio of carbohydrates is high in relation to those. So what do I recommend? Well, simply add in some protein and healthy fats! My favorite way to do this is to add a couple poached eggs on top to get both healthy fats and protein. If eggs aren’t your thing, that’s okay, try out steamed edamame, tofu, tempeh, even natto (fermented beans) if you’re feeling especially adventurous. Kimchi is a must in my book, it’s loaded with probiotics which are key to keeping our digestion balanced and super happy– especially this time of year bouncing from holiday party to the next, and possible over-consuming of alcohol/sweets, etc. I also love adding in chili oil, which can easily be made by slicing in half a couple chilis and putting them in a bottle of high quality olive oil of your choice, let soak for a couple days and tada, you have chili oil!

Garnish Ideas:

  • chopped chives or shallots
  • poached eggs
  • tofu, tempeh, or edamame
  • chili oil
  • kimchi or natto (fermented goodies!)
  • sauted veggies like red cabbage (as pictured in my congee bowl)
  • cilantro
  • steamed squash or sweet potatoes (including purple!)
  • sesame seeds
  • fresh sliced cucumber or bell peppers

Savory or sweet for breakfast?

What’s your go-to for breakfast? Would you try rice porridge with cabbage and chili sauce for breakfast, or are you strictly smoothies and sweets kind-of-breakfast person? Share your thoughts in the comments, and if you make this yourself, be sure to let me know what you think and share on Instagram with #nutritionstripped so we can see your creation!

xx McKel

p.s. Stay tuned tomorrow for a big announcement from NS, sign up for the mailing list so you don’t miss out!

The Recipe

Serves 4-6



1 cup white rice

6 cups water or vegetable stock

Optional Garnish:



Poached egg

Sauteed red cabbage

Sesame Seeds

Chili sauce




Bring the water to a boil and add the rice. Bring to a simmer and cover the pan.

Continue to simmer for 30-45 minutes until the rice porridge is very creamy. While the rice is simmering, you can prepare the optional garnishes.

Remove from heat, add your desired garnishes, and serve warm.


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