Instant Pot Congee (Rice Porridge)

$7.05 recipe / $1.18 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.78 from 49 votes
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Congee is a savory rice porridge that I’ve wanted to make for quite some time. It’s a warm, comforting porridge made with rice, chicken, ginger, and sometimes other fun ingredients. Congee usually needs to simmer for quite some time, so the Instant Pot is a great way to make congee fast, but I’ve included stovetop directions for everyone else (it’s ridiculously simple either way). So, even though I’ve titled this “Instant Pot Congee”, don’t pass up this gem of a recipe just because you don’t own a trendy IP. It’s just toooooo good not to try.

Overhead view of a bowl of congee topped with soy sauce, sesame oil, peanuts, and cilantro.

What is Congee?

Congee is a rice porridge that is a staple food in several countries in Asia. You’ll find many different versions and names for this dish, depending on the region, but they all have one thing in common–they’re warm, comforting, and filling. The base for congee is rice that has been cooked for an extended amount of time in water or both until it breaks down into a really thick porridge. It can be as simple as that, or it can have extra ingredients added, like meat and aromatics, to make it more of a full meal.

But that’s just a snapshot of the history and culture surrounding this classic comfort food. If you’d like to try an authentic congee recipe and learn more about congee, I highly suggest checking out these resources:

What Does Congee Taste Like?

Congee is a fairly mild dish, but the flavor is deep. Oh so deliciously deep. This version, made with chicken, has a mild chicken flavor, with a little extra umami kick from mushrooms, and a lovely ginger base note. I found the congee to be so velvety smooth and delicious that I could happily slurp it up on its own, but when I started adding fun toppings the meal was elevated to super-star status.

Add Toppings 

I’d suggest using at least the base toppings that I have listed on the recipe card below:

  • sesame oil
  • soy sauce
  • green onion
  • cilantro
  • chopped peanuts

Beyond that, the sky’s the limit. I gave the congee the “soft boiled egg and sriracha” treatment because I add those two things to just about everything, but the congee was really quite filling on its own, so I probably won’t opt for an egg in the future. The sriracha was a nice touch, though.

Here are a few other topping ideas:

  • pickled vegetables
  • fried onions or shallots
  • sesame seeds
  • steamed greens

But really, anything goes here. Sweep the kitchen!

Close up of a spoonful of congee with toppings, the bowl in the background
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Instant Pot Congee (Rice Porridge)

4.78 from 49 votes
Instant Pot Congee is a warm and comforting porridge with endless possibilities for fun toppings. This classic dish is made easy with modern equipment.
Servings 6 (1.3 cups each)
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Total 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice ($0.52)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1-2 inches fresh ginger ($0.10)
  • 3 shittake mushrooms ($0.63)
  • 2 lb. bone-in chicken pieces ($3.66)
  • 7 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt (or to taste) ($0.05)


  • 3 green onions, sliced ($0.23)
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro (optional) ($0.20)
  • 1/3 cup peanuts, chopped ($1.12)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.05)
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil ($0.33)


  • Peel and slice the ginger, and crush the cloves of garlic. Slice the mushrooms into thin strips. Remove the skin from the chicken pieces.
  • Place the uncooked rice in the bottom of the Instant Pot and add the crushed garlic, sliced ginger, and sliced mushrooms on top. Lay the chicken pieces over the rice and aromatics. Finally, add seven cups of water.
  • Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Turn the steam release valve to the “sealing” position. Press the “porridge” button to begin cooking (no need to adjust the time or pressure). After ten seconds the pot will begin to heat and build pressure. Once it reaches the required temperature and pressure, the display will begin to count down 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, the pot will switch to the “keep warm” setting and begin to drop in pressure. Allow the pot to reduce in pressure naturally, without opening the steam release valve. When the float valve falls back to the down position, open the steam valve, and then open the lid.
  • Using tongs, carefully remove the chicken pieces and place them on a clean cutting board. Use two forks to shred the meat and remove the bones. Return the shredded meat to the pot.
  • Stir and taste the porridge, and add salt as needed (I added 1/2 Tbsp). Only add enough salt to amplify the flavors, but leave room for the addition of soy sauce as a topping.
  • Ladle the congee into each bowl and drizzle a small amount (1 tsp) of toasted sesame oil and soy sauce on top of each bowl. Sprinkle the sliced green onions, cilantro leaves, and chopped peanuts over top, then serve.

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To make on a stove top: Use 10 cups water instead of seven. Add all the ingredients (minus toppings) to a large pot. Place a lid on top and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 1-2 hours, or until a thick porridge forms. Stir the congee often while simmering, replacing the lid each time. Once thick, continue with shredding the meat and seasoning with salt as described above.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 440.15kcalCarbohydrates: 27.87gProtein: 35.95gFat: 19.77gSodium: 836.73mgFiber: 1.33g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Side view of a bowl full of congee, topped with peanuts, cilantro, and sesame oil

How to Make Congee in an Instant Pot – Step by Step Photos

Ginger, Garlic, and Shiitake mushrooms on a cutting board

Start by peeling and slicing 1-2 inches of ginger (I really like ginger, so may use more next time). Thinly slice three shittake mushrooms and crush two cloves of garlic. Shittake mushrooms are pretty expensive ($8.99/lb. at my local stores), but since they’re mostly air and weigh next to nothing, I was able to get three fairly large mushrooms for $0.63. Not bad.

Four Chicken Thighs, Skin Removed, on a yellow cutting board

Remove the skin from about 2 lbs. of bone-in chicken pieces. Dark meat is going to give you a lot better flavor than breasts, so I highly suggest you stick to thighs and drumsticks. You can remove the excess fat as well, but I found that it made the porridge incredibly rich and velvety. Plus, trimming the fat is tedious. Ha.

Rice, Ginger, Garlic, and Mushrooms in the bottom of an instant pot

Place one cup uncooked jasmine rice in the bottom of the Instant Pot and add the ginger slices, crushed garlic, and sliced mushrooms on top.

Chicken thighs In the Instant Pot

Then add the chicken pieces…

Add Water to Instant Pot

And finally, add 7 cups water.

If you’re making this on the stove top, just add all the ingredients listed above to a large pot, but use 10 cups water instead of 7 (you’ll get a lot more evaporation with the stove top method). Bring the pot to a boil (with lid) over high heat, then reduce to low and let simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring often, or until a thick porridge has formed. If the porridge is too thin after that time, simply let it simmer without a lid until it thickens.

Close up of the Instant Pot Float Valve in the Down position

Close and lock the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the steam release valve (on the left in the photo) to the “sealing” position. Notice the float valve on the right, the small metal circle, is down. This means there is no pressure in the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Porridge Setting, 20 minutes showing on the display

Press the “porridge” button over there on the right and it will turn on to the automatic setting of 20 minutes at high pressure. No need to adjust, just wait ten seconds for it to begin.

Close up of the Instant Pot Float Valve in the Up position

It may take 10-15 minutes for the pot to come up to temperature and pressure. Once it reaches high pressure, the float valve will be elevated (it’s that small metal circle on the right). That indicates that the pot is under pressure. Once it reaches the proper pressure, the display on the front will begin to count down 20 minutes.

Instant Pot on Keep Warm warm setting, depressurizing

After cooking with high pressure for 20 minutes, the Instant Pot will beep and change to “keep warm” mode. The display will show an “L” and start counting up the time (it’s at seven minutes in the photo). Let the pressure naturally come back down, which may take 15 minutes or so. You’ll know the pressure is safe when that metal float valve has fallen back down.

Congee After Cooking in the Instant Pot

Once it’s back down to safe pressure, open the steam release valve, then open the lid. It will look a little something like this. It looks a little watery on top, but once it’s stirred it thickens right up. Carefully remove the chicken pieces with tongs and place them on a clean cutting board.

Meat pulled from bones on a red cutting board

Use two forks to shred and pull the meat from the bones. The meat should be so tender that it literally falls apart when you touch it.

Add Meat Back to Congee and Add Salt

Stir the shredded meat back into the congee. Give it a taste and add salt to your liking (I added 1/2 Tbsp). You want enough salt to make the flavors pop, but not so much that you wouldn’t want to add soy sauce as a topping. 

Bare bowl of Congee with no toppings

Ladle some congee into a bowl… I gotta say, too, that I love those ginger slices. They become quite mild through the cooking process and have a texture similar to water chestnuts. They’re SO GOOD. More ginger slices next time for sure.

A white bowl full of congee, topped with cilantro, peanuts, soy sauce, and sesame oil

At a minimum, I’d suggest adding a small drizzle of toasted sesame oil & soy sauce to each bowl, along with some sliced green onions, cilantro leaves, and chopped peanuts to your Instant Pot Congee. The chopped peanuts were truly a delight. They added wonderful texture.

A bowl of congee with toppings, including a soft boiled egg and drizzle of sriracha, a spoon in the side

Or, you know, you could go crazy and add a soft boiled egg and some sriracha too… Cuz why not? Make your Instant Pot Congee your own!

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  1. This recipe is great! I’ve had to tweak some things based on what I have on hand (ex. cubed ham instead of chicken), but it always comes out fantastic. The cooking method and time is perfect. Thanks for a super easy recipe!

    1. Yes we recommend you rinsing the rice prior, but you don’t necessarily have to!

      1. Thanks! I did rinse it and it came out great, perfectly porridgy! :-) I think if you don’t rinse it could become too starchy-maybe that’s what caused that one person to have issues with overflow?

  2. Love it! My family and I have been making it for years!! Thank you so much!!! 😊

  3. So simple and easy! But a little bland – even with the salt, soy sauce, sesame and green onions on top. Next time will make with some broth instead of water for a deeper flavor. Thank you!

  4. I don’t have your exact model of Instant Pot and don’t know how to translate the recipes into time under pressure. Is there a translation table somewhere?

    1. The porridge setting on an instant pot is really just a timer. So you’ll just do high pressure for 20 minutes and then let the pressure release naturally.

  5. Holy cow amazing and so little work. My only change was I used a bag of frozen mixed seafood inst3ad of chicken and 8oz of sliced shitake mushrooms.

  6. Love this recipe and was first introduced to it through the “surprise me” tab that I use to pick recipes for the cook club I’m a part of. I’ve made it several times and it’s become a staple meal. Here are some things that my spouse and I have added to throw our own spin on the recipe.

    Better than bouillon, broth or anything similar to flavor the water really adds so much more to this recipe.

    Carrots or other vegetables you might enjoy along side mushrooms, chicken and rice is a really great touch to add at the beginning.

    Adding a soft boiled egg (like they use for ramen) and Sriracha are great additions for toppings.

  7. Beth, I just wanted to let you know that my wife and I have been eating this for breakfast nearly every day for months! I’m US military stationed overseas so having something to meal prep that’s so easy and delicious has been a terrific time saver. I’m Korean and my wife is Japanese and we both love it!

  8. I need some help, for the first time in the several years I have had an insta pot it boiled over. I was making congee and it made an absolute mess, all over the counter, the sides, under the insta pot. I have 2 of them, a small one and a large one. I filled the small one with a little less than a cup of Jasmine rice and to the top of the max line. I have never had this happen before? Please help.

    1. Very interesting! No, unfortunately, I’ve never had an Instant Pot boil over, so I’m not sure what causes that. I would google “why did my Instant Pot boil over” to see if there have been any discussions about the issue on the internet.

    2. Grains tend to foam up quite a bit during cooking in the instantpot. That’s one reason it is recommended to do a natural pressure release rather than instant release. Also, the max fill line is different with liquid items. I think you can find the max fill amounts online for liquids.

  9. Can I use frozen skin on/bone in chicken thighs.? And dried shiitakes /dry or rehydrated?)

    1. I used fresh mushrooms. You can use frozen chicken and you can use skin-on chicken, but just keep in mind the chicken will essentially be boiled, so that skin is going to get very soft and sort of slimy. It does add a nice bit of fat to the porridge, though.