8 Baby Porridge Recipes Made With Rice, Wholesome Ingredients and Love

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Baby congee to a Chinese mother means rice and wholesome ingredients home cooked to perfect softness and tastiness.

In many East Asian countries, rice porridge or congee is one of the first semi-solid food babies eat after milk. It is one of the most important baby food a Chinese mother will learn to make. 

Why rice porridge?

Because it makes a great base or should I say carrier. It is easy on the stomach and is extremely digestible. It provides the baby with needed carbohydrates for energy and helps the body absorbs the nutrients of the added ingredients. Wholesome food for babies and toddlers.

Photos by Jan Hecking

You can cook the rice porridge in a pot over the stove, the rice cooker, or the slow cooker although I recommend the rice cooker if you have it. 

For baby congee, we usually cook the rice together with the ingredients until everything is soft and mushy. Babies can't chew yet so it is important that ingredients are soft and easy to swallow. 

You can also cook a pot of plain rice porridge and add fresh ingredients like mashed carrot, white fish, tofu, egg, finely chopped green leafy vegetables and more. 

Let's start by cooking a simple rice porridge flavoured with pork ribs. Click here for some basic instructions on how to cook rice porridge if you are not familiar with it.

1. Pork rib congee

You can substitute the pork rib with chicken thigh or beef ribs or even ready-made soup stock. Just be mindful that ready made stock can have a high sodium content.


  • 1 large pork rib
  • 1 cup rice
  • 10 cups water
  • Dash of salt

Many parents I meet say that they do not introduce salt or sugar into their babies' diet until they are older. If you hold the same opinion, omit the seasonings.

Directions (rice cooker)

  1. Parboil the pork rib, remove and rinse
  2. Place the rib, rice and water into the pot and bring to a boil
  3. Continue to cook until the porridge is done
  4. When the porridge is done, remove the pork rib
  5. Season with salt if necessary

2. Tofu and egg yolk

Tofu and egg are soft food and do not require long cooking time to soften them, unlike carrot or pumpkin. This is suitable for 9 to 12 month old.


  • 1/2 tub of soft tofu
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup rice
  • 10 cups water

Directions (rice cooker)

  1. Place the rice and water in the rice cooker and press cook
  2. Mash the tofu
  3. Boil the egg for about 8 minutes
  4. Remove the egg shell and egg white and mash the yolk
  5. When the rice porridge is cooked, add the mashed tofu and mashed egg yolk. Mix well
  6. Remove from heat before feeding

Mashed Vegetables

Carrot is a very popular vegetable for babies. It becomes so sweet and soft when well-cooked. I know carrot puree is a popular baby food but I think the taste and flavor of 100% carrot puree can be quite strong.

I much prefer it balanced out with some rice porridge. Here are 2 recipes. The first one pairs carrot with white bait. The other is with another vegetable: spring onion. 

3. Carrot with white bait

White bait are small white fish rich in calcium and iron. Good for developing healthy bones and teeth. If you can get fresh ones, use them. If not dried ones are equally good. 


  • 10g carrot
  • 1 tbsp dried or 1/2 cup fresh white bait
  • 1 cup rice
  • 10 cups water

Directions (rice cooker)

  1. Peel the carrot and chop finely
  2. Wash the white baits. Soak well if dried
  3. Add the rice, water, carrot and white baits into a rice cooker
  4. Cook till the rice porridge is done
  5. Remove from heat
  6. Mash up any carrot pieces before feeding

4. Carrot and spring onion

This is suitable for 1 year old and above.


  • 1 cup rice
  • 3 stalks of spring onion
  • 30g carrot
  • 10 cups water
  • Dash of salt

Directions (rice cooker)

  1. Rinse rice and soak in water
  2. Cut the spring onion into big sections
  3. Dice the carrot
  4. Put the rice, carrot and spring onion into the rice cooker with the water
  5. Cook till the rice porridge is done
  6. Remove the spring onion before feeding
  7. Mash up any carrot pieces

5. Spinach congee

Spinach is also a good vegetable for babies. It is rich in folic acid and iron. It is also very soft when cooked.


  • 1 leaf of spinach
  • 2 tbsp fresh milk
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 10 cups water

Directions (rice cooker)

  1. Rinse and parboil the spinach leaf
  2. Drain and chop the spinach finely
  3. Cook the rice porridge in the rice cooker
  4. Add the milk and spinach and cook till done
  5. Remove from heat and feed

Chinese Herbs

6. Chinese yam congee

Fresh Chinese yam is very similar to potato but has much more complex carbohydrates. Grate finely or cut into small cubes.

Suitable for 1 year old and above.


  • 200g Chinese yam (huai shan)
  • 30g chinese wolfberries
  • 1 cup rice
  • 10 cups water
  • Dash of salt


  1. Peel the Chinese yam, rinse and cut into small pieces
  2. Rinse the rice and soak in water
  3. Cook the rice together with the Chinese yam in the rice cooker for 1 hour
  4. Add the Chinese wolfberries and cook till soft
  5. Add salt to season if necessary

Sweet Baby Congee

Most baby rice porridge are savoury but sweet ones are great for babies too. The following recipes contain red dates, lily bulbs, wolfberries, and rock sugar.

Rock sugar 冰糖 (bing tang) is a type of dessert sugar used to flavour Chinese desserts. It can be substituted with other types of sugar but preferably not white processed sugar.

7. Red date rice congee


  • 10 red dates, cored
  • 1 cup rice
  • 10 cups water
  • Dash of salt or rock sugar


  1. Wash the rice and soak in water for about 2 hours, if you have time
  2. Wash the red dates to remove any dirt
  3. Place the rice, red dates and water into the rice cooker
  4. Cook for 1 hour
  5. Season with rock sugar before serving

8. Lily bulb and goji berries congee


  • 30g lily bulb
  • 30g chinese wolfberries
  • 1 cup rice
  • 10 cups water
  • 10g rock sugar


  1. Rinse all ingredients except rock sugar and soak in water
  2. Place the lily bulb, rice and water in a rice cooker
  3. Cook for 2 hours
  4. Add the Chinese wolfberrries and cook till they are plump
  5. Season with the rock sugar

I hope you will try some of the recipes here.

Last but not least, invest in some quality appliances and carriers to make or store your homemade baby food. 

Happy Souping, Phoebe