This slow cooker congee is a creamy, soft porridge that warms you right up for breakfast. And by making chicken congee in a slow cooker, you can have a warm and nourishing breakfast ready when you wake up in the morning.
Making chicken congee in a slow cooker is a simple way to make a nourishing meal
This authentic slow cooker congee recipe is one of my favorite Chinese breakfast recipes to make when I’m feeling sick or just in need of a comforting meal.
While I still make congee on the stove top quite often, and make my instant pot chicken congee when I'm in a rush, it's hard to beat the convenience of making chicken congee in the slow cooker.
By throwing everything into the slow cooker before bed, you can wake up to a piping hot bowl of nourishing goodness.
Let me show you how to make this slow cooker congee. It’s the perfect recipe to have up your sleeve for the colder months, or whenever you're in need of a soothing meal.
What is congee?
Wondering what congee is?
Congee is a traditional Chinese comfort food recipe. It's made by cooking rice with a large amount of liquid until the rice is completely cooked and soft.
Growing up, we always called it congee. But it is also known as jook, zhou, xi fan, gruel, or rice porridge.
While it can be served plain as a side dish, it often has chicken, fish, meat, or other flavorings added to make it a full meal.
For this slow cooker jook, I use chicken, ginger, and garlic. This combination results in a flavor that's both savory and soothing for the stomach.
Benefits of eating congee for breakfast
Congee is a creamy, soft porridge that warms you from the inside out. I’ve always loved it as chicken congee is:
- high in protein
- filled with warm, savory flavors
- easy to digest
It’s also very nutritious, especially if you use a quality chicken bone stock for part of your liquid.
Due to how it's made, bone broth can contain higher amounts of minerals, like magnesium and calcium. Plus, it's also rich in collagen and other important proteins that may be beneficial for your joints and digestion.
How much water do you put in rice for congee?
You want congee to cook low and slow so that the rice gets soft and broken down. And to do this, you’ll need quite a bit of water.
So, how much water do you put in rice for congee? I start with 8 cups of liquid per 1 cup of uncooked rice.
However, the exact amount will depend on the method used to make it and how thick you like your porridge.
I prefer mine a bit thick. But you can make it thinner by using 10 cups of liquid per 1 cup of rice.
Not sure what consistency you prefer? The nice thing about congee is that it’s forgiving. If you end up wanting it thinner, you can always add more liquid just before serving.
TIP: While water is easy, for a bit more flavor I’ll often use a mix of water and chicken broth or stock. I like using this quality chicken bone stock to add extra flavor and boost of nutrition and collagen.
Congee made on the stove may need more water
Congee made on a stove top takes over an hour to cook. As a result, some of the liquid is lost as steam. So, depending on how much steam is lost, you may need to add more water.
The weight and fit of your lid can also affect how much liquid is lost during cooking. In my experience, cast iron pots allow less steam to escape than other types.
Adding liquid to slow cooker congee
When making chicken congee in a slow cooker, the amount of liquid needed will depend on the type of slow cooker used and how tightly the lid seals.
Using a regular crock pot with glass lid that allows steam to escape
For making congee in a traditional crockpot, start with the same amount of liquid as you would if making it on the stove.
This is because the traditional glass lid doesn't seal completely. As a result, steam is still able to escape like it would with a pot on the stove.
Making congee in an instant pot or other electronic multi cooker type slow cooker
Using an Instant Pot on slow cooker function will result in less water being lost as steam due to how tightly the lid seals. As a result, you'll likely need less water.
It can also mean that your congee may cook quicker too.
For making this recipe and other slow cooker recipes in an Instant pot, a specialty slow cooker lid is a great investment. This way the steam can escape, helping it to cook like it would in a traditional slow cooker.
If you have a 6 quart or 5 quart Instant Pot, use this lid to make it function as a traditional slow cooker. Or, if you have an 8 quart, use this lid.
How to cook Chinese rice porridge in a slow cooker
It doesn’t get easier than this Chinese porridge recipe in a slow cooker. Simply add all the ingredients to your slow cooker, set to low, and let it simmer away while you’re at work or asleep.
Then, just before serving, shred the chicken and mix it back into the congee.
Ingredients for slow cooker breakfast congee
This crockpot congee recipe comes together with just 7 ingredients:
- Whole bone-in chicken legs
- Chicken broth or stock
- White jasmine rice
- Sea salt
What should I serve with congee?
Thanks to simmering for 8 hours, chicken congee made in the slow cooker has a deep, rich flavor that’s tasty all by itself.
But, there are also times when I'm in the mood for something a little more filling and savory.
My go-to basic toppings include:
- Green onions or scallions
- Pork floss
- Eggs (scrambled or hard boiled)
Trust me, by adding just a few toppings, you can turn this simple dish into a more hearty breakfast or easy dinner.
Another must is this Chili Oil with Crunchy Garlic! It packs a serious punch of flavor and goes so well with this slow cooker congee. We always have a jar on hand because it’s delicious on pretty much everything.
It could also be good topped with other ingredients like:
- Steamed tofu
- Canned bamboo shoots
- Sautéed shiitake mushrooms
- Crispy onions
- Soy sauce
- Chopped peanuts or toasted sesame seeds.
A touch of vinegar can be nice too in contrast to the savory chicken. I like adding a little pickled lettuce. I like to buy mine from a Chinese supermarket, but if in a pinch you can also buy it online.
I love adding pork floss
Also called pork song, pork floss is finely shredded, dried pork that’s seasoned with soy sauce and sugar. It has a wonderfully light and airy texture that melts in your mouth.
Plus it has that sweet and salty thing going for it that I just love with this slow cooker breakfast congee.
My grandma always added pork floss to congee when I was going up. And she’d always use the same two brands, so I always use them now too: Formosa Brand Pork Song and Kimbo Pork Song
She always buy the red containers (above) so do I. But you may like the blue container too, which is a more shredded style and has larger pieces.
How to make the eggs into strips like the photo
Curious how to make eggs into strips? Not only do they look nice on top of a bowl of congee, but they have a wonderfully fluffy texture too.
There are just 6 steps for making your eggs into strips:
Step 1: Beat 2 eggs very well in a mixing bowl to incorporate some air. This is important for making them nice and fluffy.
Step 2: Add oil to a 8-inch non stick frying pan on medium to medium-high heat. Once hot, add the eggs.
Step 3: Leave eggs completely alone and cook about 2 minutes. At this point the top should look dry and the eggs puffy.
Step 4: Flip eggs carefully, and then cook an additional minute or 2 until cooked through.
Step 5: Transfer cooked eggs to a cutting board. Allow to cool slightly so the can eggs firm up a bit. This will help prevent the eggs from breaking when you go to cut them.
Step 6: Carefully slice eggs into strips and add to your bowl of congee.
More ways to make congee
I love this chicken congee recipe made in a slow cooker. But there are times when I'm in the mood for other flavors or needing a different cooking method.
My Chicken and Ginger Congee has similar ingredients, but is a bit simpler and is made on the stove. It’s one of my favorite recipes when I wake up feeling a bit under the weather.
For a vegan option, I like this Vegetable Congee that's made with a dried mushroom and vegetable broth base. It also has sweet potatoes and collard greens for even more flavor and nutrition.
Or, for congee that’s just as delicious but ready in just 40 minutes, there’s also this Instant Pot Congee recipe.
Slow cooker congee is a warming, soothing meal to enjoy at any time of the day.
I hope you love this slow cooker breakfast congee as much as I do. It’s a recipe that I’ve loved since I was a kid. And it's still my go-to whenever I need something warm and easy on the stomach.
Any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Chicken Congee in Slow CookerPrint Recipe Save RecipeSaved!
- Slow Cooker or Multi-Cooker
- 2 whole bone-in chicken legs (just over 1-pound / 550 grams)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup white jasmine rice
- 1 piece ginger - about 1-inch
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 stalks green onions / scallions
- pork floss
- 2 whole eggs (scrambled or hard boiled) - refer to post for how I prepare them
- Rinse the rice until the water runs just about clear.
- Mix everything together in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 5 hours or low on 8 hours.
- When the congee is done, remove the ginger and garlic clove. Take the chicken out. The meat will be falling off the bones, so try to do it gently. Remove the skin and bones, then shred the meat. Mix the shredded chicken back into the congee. You can also reserve some shredded chicken to top on each bowl. If you like thinner congee, add in additional water.
- Serve into bowls and top with desired toppings.
This was amazing- I have a little 2 qt slow cooker so I just halved the recipe, left this overnight and it came out perfect for my little family of three. The slow cooker I use has the loose glass lid with the steam hole, so water escapes properly. I think if you are using anything with a sealed lid where water doesn't escape as well, maybe using less water would work.
I have made this recipe twice and both times the result were disappointing. The first time I used 1 cup of white long grain and 8 cups of liquid in the slow cooker (a Kitchen Aid 6 quart model) on low heat for 8 hours. The result was soup. The next time I made it, I used 1 cup of the same rice and just 5 cups of liquid and high heat for 5 hours. The result was somewhat thicker but still nowhere near the texture one expects from congee.
Tina Jui says
Hi - If the congee is too wet, you can always open the lid and cook away some liquid to thicken it up quickly. You might also want to try a different rice if you aren't happy with your congee. Jasmine rice works, as do other medium grain rices.
I was searching for congee recipes and was so happy to see your site show up! I'm a big fan of your family's cartoons on Instagram :) Thanks for the recipe, I definitely added a bunch of pork floss to mine!
Tried making it, turns out the rice were still grainy and tonnes of water.. i did a ratio of 1:8 on rice to water with slowcook mode.. wonder what went wrong? should i have used 1:6 since it is a multicooker?
Tina Jui says
Hi, if you are using a multi-cooker, you might want to start with less water. But it's possible to cook away excess water too, just open the lid and cook it a little longer. As for the grainy rice, what kind of rice did you use?
Hi Tina, thanks for this recipe I made it for my visiting father in law and he had two bowls. He didn’t say anything otherwise, but I think that means he liked it! Good clear instructions with good texture. The salt is just right.
Tina Jui says
Thanks for the kind words! I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe.
This look so fresh and delicious.Thank you so much for the recipe!