Learn Vegetarian Congee With These 5 Recipes

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Make healthy vegetarian congee by adding different types of root vegetables, fresh mushrooms and non-meat ingredients into plain rice congee

A few visitors asked me how to enhance the flavour of vegetarian congee since flavour is usually derived from meat stock. There are some non-meat ingredients that can add flavour. A good example is mushrooms. Dried shiitake mushrooms has a deep earthly flavour. Fresh ones are also quite good. 

Recipe 1: Mushroom and sweet corn porridge

This congee uses medium-grained white rice, dried Chinese mushrooms, sweet corn kernels and carrot.

Sweet corn is rich in vitamin A and E which is good for the eyes and prevent bleeding gums. Vitamin E can also lower blood cholesterol, prevent blood clotting, high blood pressure and the hardening of the arteries.

Ingredients

  • 120g sweet corn
  • 80g dried mushroom
  • 80g carrot
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 tsp salad oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Wash and soak the mushrooms until soft and drain
  2. Do not throw the soaking water. Strain it and add to the water used to cook the porridge. It will enhance the flavour of the porridge.
  3. Slice the mushrooms thinly
  4. Wash and dice the carrot
  5. Wash the sweet corn and drain
  6. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes
  7. Place the rice in a pot and add the water
  8. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer
  9. When the porridge is done, add the carrot, mushrooms and sweet corn and cook till soft
  10. Add the salt and salad oil before serving

Sweet potato and carrot are quite common root vegetables added to plain rice congee to bulk it up and increase the nutritional value.

I personally like sweet potato chunks in my congee. Here is a basic recipe. 

Recipe 2. Sweet Potato Congee

Spice Brasserie - Teochew Porridge

A pot of rice porridge with pieces of sweet potato. A classic Hokkien fare. 

Ingredients

  • 600g sweet potato
  • 1 cup rice
  • 12 cups water

Directions

  1. Wash the sweet potato, peel and cut into chunks
  2. Add 12 cups of water into a large pot and bring to a boil
  3. Wash the rice thoroughly
  4. Add the rice to the pot and lower the heat to a simmer
  5. Simmer for 40 minutes
  6. Add the sweet potato and cook for another 20 minutes
  7. If you want to shorten the cooking time, steam the sweet potato first before adding to the congee.

Recipe 3: Taro rice porridge

Taro is a very nutritious tuber vegetable. It contains a number of micro-nutrients that are beneficial to the elderly. It is also easy on the digestive tract, helps to alleviate constipation and promote nutrient absorption.

Be careful when peeling taro, the sticky substance just under the skin can sting the hands. Wear a pair of kitchen gloves when preparing taro.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of rice
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 5 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 200g taro
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes
  2. Place the rice in a pot and add the water
  3. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer
  4. When the porridge is done, leave it aside
  5. Wash and chop the celery finely
  6. Wash, peel and dice the taro
  7. Heat the cooking oil in a wok and fry the taro
  8. Fry for about 5 minutes, add the soy sauce
  9. Fry and mix them well
  10. Add the rice porridge and cook till the yam is soft
  11. Add the salt and pepper
  12. Sprinkle the chopped celery before serving

Recipe 4: Four-Fungi rice porridge

This vegetarian congee recipe contains 4 types of fungi - chinese mushrooms, straw mushrooms, cloud ear fungus and wood ear fungus. For the fungi fans. 

Ingredients

  • 40g dried mushroom
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • Cooking oil
  • 40g carrot
  • 40g bamboo shoot
  • 40g cloud ear fungus or white fungus, soaked and re-hydrated
  • 40g wood ear fungus or black fungus, soaked and re-hydrated
  • 40g straw mushroom
  • 6 cups soup stock
  • 3 cups of white rice

Seasonings

  • Pinch of salt
  • Pepper
  • Sesame seed oil

Directions

  1. Soak the dried mushroom with cold water
  2. Marinate the mushroom with some salad oil
  3. Clean and dice the carrot
  4. Clean and dice the bamboo shoot
  5. Parboil the bamboo shoot
  6. Wash and parboil the cloud ear fungus, wood ear fungus and straw mushroom
  7. Bring the soup stock to a boil, add the white rice and cook for 15 minutes
  8. Add the mushrooms, carrot, bamboo shoot and fungus to the porridge
  9. Add the seasonings

Recipe 5. Three-Mushroom Vegetarian Congee

Last but not least, I wanted to share this congee with 3 types of mushrooms. I hope you know by now that I love mushrooms. 

Ingredients

  • 2 fresh shiitake mushrooms or Chinese mushrooms
  • 40g shimeji mushrooms
  • 40g enoki mushrooms
  • Half a small cucumber
  • 1 tbsp goji berries
  • 1 cup of vegetable stock
  • Half a cup of congee
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Slice the shiitake mushrooms thinly
  2. Break up the shimeji mushrooms into smaller portions
  3. Halve the enoki mushrooms
  4. Julienne the cucumber
  5. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add a dash of cooking wine, and parboil the mushrooms and cucumber
  6. Remove and drain
  7. Place the vegetable stock and place the parboiled mushrooms, cucumber, congee, goji berries into it
  8. Cook everything for about 10 minute
  9. Add salt to taste and serve

Happy Souping, Phoebe