Scatter-the-Cold Congee

There are infinite variations on congee that can satisfy and support health and healing. The souplike consistency of this dish makes it easy to digest. Here, the addition of green onions and ginger enlivens the taste and is perfect when you are feeling achy due to an ongoing cold. Make this congee and then get under the covers; you might break a sweat. 


Makes 4 servings



1 cup (250 mL) sweet (glutinous) brown rice or brown Arborio rice 

4 green onions, finely chopped

3 tbsp. (45 mL) minced gingerroot 



  1. In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups (2 L) water to a boil. Add rice and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours. The congee should have a souplike consistency; if there is not enough liquid left in the pan, add up to 1/2 cup (125 mL) water. 
  2. Stir in green onions and ginger; simmer for 10 minutes, then stir well.
  3. Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Warm in a small saucepan over low heat before serving.


Condiments for Congee

If you are well and simply want to make congee, in place of the green onions and ginger, you can stir one or more of the following condiments into your congee for a change of pace:

  • Braised, sautéed, roasted, boiled or pickled vegetables
  • Eggs cooked sunny side up, scrambled or hard-cooked
  • Toasted nuts or seeds
  • Chopped pungent herbs, such as parsley or basil


Health Tips

When you’re sick, you can use herbal tea or vegetable broth in place of some or all of the water to cook the rice. cooking the congee with an herbal tea or broth infuses the dish with healing ingredients, making it truly tasty medicine.

Source: Nutritional Healing with Chinese Medicine by Ellen Goldsmith, MSOM, LAc, DipCH with Maya Klein, PhD