Mum’s abalone & chicken congee is a trip down comfort lane

Congee is to comfort food as chicken soup is to comfort food. It’s a rice porridge that the rice eating nations of the world prepare in different ways and is usually eaten for breakfast or fed to you by your mother when you’re feeling sick.

It was a blast right into my childhood when mum cooked abalone congee for us when we were visiting in Adelaide. I hadn’t eaten the dish or even thought about it since I lived at home with mum. Eating it again reminded me of a time when I would open the fridge and it would be magically stocked with food and when being sick meant that I would get to eat congee in bed.

Mum’s congee was awesome and so fresh so I stole her recipe and added a poached egg into it. A runny egg always makes a dish taste better 🙂

Here’s the recipe:

Abalone and chicken congee

Ingredients for the congee:

3 cups cooked jasmine rice

2 chicken legs/drumsticks (about 400g)

3.5 cups chicken stock (from boiling the chicken drumsticks)

3-inch piece of ginger

Fish sauce, to taste

1 can of abalone (optional)

Ingredients for the garnish:

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

½ cup of coriander, finely chopped

½ cup Asian basil, finely chopped

½ small red onion, finely chopped

Black pepper, to taste

Soy sauce, to taste

4 poached eggs (instructions below)

Lemon wedges


1)   Slice the abalone and reserve the broth for later

2)   Boil the chicken (in just enough water to cover it) for 20 minutes

3)   Strain the chicken broth (to remove the scum) and reserve for later

4)   Shred the Chicken and set aside

5)   In a large saucepan, bring the 3.5 cups of chicken stock and ginger to a boil over medium heat.

6)   Add the rice and lower the heat to medium-low and allow the mixture to simmer until the rice is soft and the liquid has thickened.

7)   Once thickened to your preference, remove the ginger and add the abalone (remember, abalone only needs a few minutes to cook before it gets rubbery)

8)   If you would like the congee to be a thinner consistency, add the remaining chicken stock or abalone broth until you reach the desired consistency

9)   Taste the porridge and add the fish sauce to taste.

10) To serve, divide among four bowls.

11) Top each with a poached egg, then garnish with a sprinkling of spring onion, coriander, Asian basil and red onion.

12) Drizzle with lemon juice and soy sauce to taste and add black pepper if desired.

Serves 4

How to make a poached egg:

1) Bring a pot filled with water to just under a boil.

2) If your water has already started to boil, lower the heat until the water is no longer boiling.

3) Crack an egg into a small bowl.

4) Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to the water.

5) Slowly drop the egg into the water.

6) Use a spoon to push back the egg whites onto the egg, so that it can form together.

7) Turn off the heat.

8) Cover the pot.

9) Let sit for 4 minutes, and then remove the egg with a slotted spoon.


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15 Responses to “Mum’s abalone & chicken congee is a trip down comfort lane”
  1. That looks so delicious, thanks for sharing 😉

  2. Dee Dee's Delights says:

    These sound great, I am hosting a linky party called Sunday Buffet, Your welcome to add these to the Buffet line!

  3. Recipe Chefs says:

    Excellent post thanks for sharing. Food is something I can enjoy all around. If I’m not eating it. I’m reading and looking at pictures about it.

    Rise n Shine Eggs – Breakfast Recipe

  4. Parsley Sage says:

    Mmm…comfort food of the highest quality 🙂

  5. redshirtdave says:

    i’ve never made congee before, this is a good excuse to try it, thanks Jen looks delicious!

  6. This sounds really tasty, and photo is beautiful too! Great post, thanks for sharing!!

  7. Yen says:

    Mmm, I love, love, love this post Jenny! It’s so true – congee makes you think of a time when things were so much simpler. I was sick a few weeks ago and the only thing I craved was congee. I had it for every meal, 5 days straight and it just reminded me of home.

    I’ve never actually documented my mum’s recipes for congee so I just bookmarked this one for future reference! Can’t wait to try it 🙂

    • jennynoowyn says:

      it’s kinda weird to say i can’t wait to be sick to have more congee….but I can’t wait to be sick to be sick to have more congee 🙂

  8. sarah says:

    Congee is a comfort food in our home too. Can’t wait to try your recipe soon!

  9. Ah Tze says:

    this look yummy! I love this congee!

  10. Isn’t it great to have food dishes that can so swiftly take you down a pleasant memory lane. Love your soup … and I have to admit I do not think I have ever eaten congee …my sick day soup usually meant chicken broth …. and just like you that’s what I still take when I’m sick.

  11. ShizzNeez says:

    Jen …. you just made me miss home sooooo much! You’re cooking this on our next RBOA meeting – Sunday breakfast!

  12. Susie says:

    I love congee…. I would always have it as a kid with my mom and on occasion I get it at a little place here in Seattle. Nothing is more comforting than congee and yours sounds fantastic.

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