Healing Breakfast Recipes

What Is Congee?

A staple of a healing breakfast in Asian countries is congee, or jook. It is a rice porridge cooked slowly with 8 parts water and 1 part rice. It serves as a vessel for adding healing foods and herbs that infuse the porridge for specific health purposes. The earliest written mention of congee can be found in the  Book of Zhou, written during the Tang dynasty, which states that the Yellow Emperor made this healing porridge out of grain.

Eating warm food in the morning, especially in the winter, boosts vitality and health. This breakfast is easy to digest, and because of the way it is prepared, the nutrients are easily absorbed. It is especially appropriate for people with weak digestion, small children, those who are chronically ill or recovering from serious disease, and the elderly. It supplements the middle burner (digestive organs such as the pancreas, stomach, spleen, and small intestine) and boosts the body’s qi (energy).

Congee is a great alternative to a typical breakfast.

Basic Congee Recipe

– 1 part rice*
– 6-8 parts water; this depends on your taste and how thick/thin you want it
– salt, scallions, fresh ginger to taste

Try a crockpot overnight so that congee is ready in the morning when you wake up. Just add the water and rice to your crockpot and set it onlow for the night. When you get up in the morning, cut up some scallions and fresh ginger to taste and add a little salt. Enjoy! 

* Traditionally white rice is most often used, however, virtually any type of grain (such as barley, millet, quinoa, oats, amaranth) or mix of grains can be used instead. 

Add In Herbs and Medicinal Foods

You can add all sorts of ingredients either before or after cooking. This includes small bite size pieces of meat (lamb, beef, pork) either before cooking in the crockpot or, if already cooked, just mix it into the hot porridge. You can also add various nuts, seeds, vegetables, or dried fruits.

Consider adding Chinese herbs! These raw Chinese herbal blends are traditional formulas for health. Cook them into your congee, then strain. The medicinal properties will seep into your rice porridge.

Womens HealthRise Up EnergyFeel GoodDigest Ease

Sweet Nutty Congee

Nourish Your Skin and Improve Digestion

This sweet and delicious porridge is a great lubricant for the lungs and throat, can relieve constipation, and nourishes the skin, liver, and kidneys. It comes with all the benefits of mixed nuts and an irresistible sweet nutty flavor.

Use the base above and add:

1/3 cup (50 grams) cashews

3/8 cup (50 grams) peanuts

3/8 cup (50 grams) sunflower seeds

1/8 cup (20 grams) white sesame seeds

Check out the Encyclopedia of Congee for more recipes here

A Southern Cantonese Song 


For fair skin,
Cook congee with dates.
For undisturbed sleep,
Add white lotus to congee.
To treat heart vacuity,
Boil congee with dragon eye fruit.
To dispel heat,
Often eat mung bean congee.
To rid white hair and strengthen kidney,
Add walnut kernel to congee.
For a stronger memory,
Cook congee with egg yolk.