This Instant Pot Congee recipe is AMAZING! It’s so quick and easy to make and gives an amazing fragrance while cooking as well.
It’s one of the best things to have for breakfast, but you can have this cozy and satisfying meal at any time of day.
The best thing about this dish is that it’s SO versatile, which makes this vegan Instant Pot congee stand out from other recipes.
Why This Recipe Works
Congee is a rice porridge meal that’s essentially made by overcooking rice to the point that it breaks down and releases its starches. This results in the almost pudding-like consistency of congee.
Most times, this takes hours to achieve using stovetop methods. That’s what makes congee the perfect dish to cook in the Instant Pot! By using your pressure cooker, we’re able to achieve the desired texture of congee in under 30 minutes. (The cook time is only 10 minutes! But factoring in the time it takes to get to pressure and do a natural release, it’s still SO much quicker!)
By using the Instant Pot, you don’t have to worry about the rice sticking to the pot or stirring every so often. It does all of the hard work for you 🙂
This Instant Pot Congee recipe requires only 3 ingredients! And water and salt don’t even really count in my opinion, as every kitchen should have them. So, first, let’s talk about the most important congee ingredient—rice.
Rice – for the best results, you’ll want to use relatively starchy rice. But any type of rice will work! Jasmine rice is a great choice. You can also utilize brown rice instead if you prefer, although the flavor and texture will change depending on what type of rice you use.
If using brown rice, don’t worry, the cooking time shouldn’t be changed. However, it may be helpful to soak brown rice prior to cooking to help it cook more evenly.
Water – to add more flavor, try using stock in place of water. You can use vegetable stock to keep it vegetarian or use chicken or beef stock. I like to use water to keep it as neutral as possible to add all of the yummy toppings later.
Salt – don’t forget the salt! It really enhances the flavor since congee is generally bland.
- To give your Instant Pot Congee a creamy texture, add a splash of heavy cream at the end of the cooking time.
- Feel free to experiment and add to this recipe, you really can’t go wrong! Add shredded chicken or pork while you cook, or fragrant aromatics like minced garlic or ginger.
- For the best texture, rinse the rice prior to cooking. Rinsing the rice will wash away the powdery substance on the outside of the rice that could affect the texture. It will still turn out okay without rinsing if you want to skip that step, but for the smoothest creamiest congee, it’s better to give it a quick rinse beforehand.
How to Serve
I like to think of congee similarly to pasta, rice, or oatmeal. While it’s okay plain, it’s pretty bland, so it welcomes a variety of toppings. You can switch up the toppings, so you have a ton of variety in your meals, even though they’re all based on congee!
Here are some traditional ideas for things to top your congee with:
- crispy fried shallots
- soft or hard-boiled eggs
- Roasted peanuts
- Toasted coconut
- Shredded bok choy or Chinese cabbage
- Fresh herbs & spices
How to make Instant Pot Congee?
Gather the three magical ingredients.
Pour two cups of water into the pot.
Add a cup of rice.
Set the instant pot to “Manual” at high pressure for 10 minutes.
Wait for a Natural Release.
Wow, the congee looks yummy!
Dish out and enjoy.
Where does Congee come from?
Congee originated in China but is known all over the globe today. It was invented thousands of years ago, referenced as early as 1000 BC!
Can I make it ahead of time?
Yes—Congee can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
It can be easily reheated in the microwave or in the oven before you serve it.
Pro Tip: When reheating, add a little water because it might thicken as it’s reheated.
Can I double this recipe?
Yes, absolutely! Since it lasts for a while and is easily reheated, it makes for an easy and effective meal-prep meal 🙂
Can I freeze it?
You can! While most rice dishes don’t freeze well, congee does since the rice starch molecules are already broken down in the cooking process. I recommend freezing plain congee, without mix-ins or toppings, since that might affect the texture when defrosting. You can always add toppings after defrosting and reheating.
Instant Pot Rice Recipes
Take the guesswork out of cooking rice dishes by using your Instant Pot! It comes out delicious and perfectly tender every time. Try these rice-based recipes next:
- 1 cup rice
- 2 cup water
- 1 tbsp salt
- Pour water, salt, and rice into the Instant Pot and stir.
- Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
- When cooking time is complete, wait for a natural pressure release.
- Open the lid, serve and enjoy 🙂