Aid Your Digestion with This Comforting Anytime Meal

This simple, nourishing rice porridge recipe can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and is easily customized depending on your Chinese medicine practitioner’s recommendations.

Illustration of kale, rice, and mushrooms dropping into a bowl
Liz Lovasco

This simple, nourishing rice porridge—a staple meal for all ages in China—is a favorite in Chinese medicine because it’s easy to digest and endlessly versatile, making it prime for customization depending on your Chinese medicine practitioner’s recommendations. Congee works for any meal of the day, though Basile prefers hers for breakfast, putting the ingredients in a crockpot on low overnight so that it comes together quickly the next morning. She recommends natural salts—such as sea salt, Himalayan salt, or Hawaiian red alaea salt—in which the minerals that help our bodies metabolize sodium more efficiently are left intact..

Cook Time
180 min


  • 1 cup short grain white rice
  • 8 cups liquid (water, broth, or a combination of the two)
  • Salt to taste


1. Combine rice with liquid in a large pot. (Try Gotham Steel Hammered Copper Collection 5 Quart Stock Pot with Lid)

2. Cover and cook on low, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the consistency of porridge, 3–4 hours. 

3. Add salt to taste.


– Seafood, vegetable, and pork broths are more energetically cooling than beef or chicken. 

– Pearl barley, millet, and buckwheat are more energetically cooling than white rice.

-A few strips of dried kombu, added when you combine the rice and liquid, contribute minerals. 

– Sautéed or steamed vegetables and legumes, such as leafy greens, lima beans, carrots, beets, and button mushrooms, are great additions. 

– Cooked protein makes for a more complete and filling meal.

– Herbs such as cilantro, thyme, or marjoram are tasty garnishes.