Best Rice for Congee: Enjoy Asia’s Heartwarming Porridge

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Chicken congee with vegetables in a white bowl with text "best rice for congee".

During my younger years and even now, sometimes, I still refuse most types of food when I’m sick.

However, there’s always one exception: a creamy, comforting bowl of congee.

I always welcome this heartwarming porridge with open arms during the rainy season, at breakfast, and especially when I’m battling a cold.

Now, many people say that congee pretty much turns out well, regardless of the type of rice you use.

But, as always, I believe no two rice grains are the same.

There are definitely rice varieties that make more delicious congee than others!

Crowned Rice Variety for Congee: Jasmine Rice

Cooked Jasmine rice in a small bowl.

If you love cooking Asian cuisine, you’ve likely already used this rice variety before.

Jasmine rice is a staple in our home.

I totally love its unique floral aroma that lingers whether I cook it plainly or use it in more elaborate dishes.

Even when used for congee, which calls for a higher rice-to-water ratio, I can still notice this rice’s distinctive aroma.

Oh, but that’s not even the best bits of using this rice for congee yet. 

Reasons to Use Jasmine Rice for Congee

Texture: The ideal congee should have a creamy and smooth texture yet still have a slight chewiness. Jasmine rice is one of the best rice varieties to achieve this texture, as it has just enough starch to make the congee thick and creamy (without being too mushy.

Availability: Congee is one of those dishes that you should be able to whip up with little to no trouble in half an hour or so. It’s only fitting that we use readily available rice like Jasmine rice, which also takes little to no time to find in the grocery store! 

Flavor: This might be a personal-preference, but I love the added layer of flavor Jasmine rice adds to congee. Congee recipes typically only use very minimal ingredients and seasonings, so it’s nice to have that extra taste for free! 

Go-to Rice Runner-ups

Dried sushi rice.

Not everyone fancies Jasmine rice’s aromatic properties.

Others prefer using shorter grains for congee to achieve a thicker consistency.

If you find yourself in any of these categories, no worries– I have the perfect rice alternatives for this dish!

Sushi Rice

Sushi rice, AKA Japanese short-grain rice, is most commonly used for (surprise-surprise) sushi. 

But, due to its starchy nature, it’s also an ideal ingredient for making congee!

As one of the stickiest rice varieties, it tends to yield creamier congee than Jasmine rice.

That’s neither a pro nor a con, though. More of just a preference thing.

So, if you prefer (or you’re okay with) your congee being on the dense and thicker side, sushi rice will get the job well done for your dish!

Calrose Rice

Calrose rice is a medium-grain rice variety that’s pretty similar to Japanese short-grain rice.

In fact, in some states or cities, it’s sometimes referred to as sushi rice itself.

When using Calrose rice for congee, you’ll also achieve thick and creamy results.

The results will be thicker than Jasmine rice but not as sticky as sushi rice, which is the ideal “sweet spot” of consistency for many people. 

Rice is Congee’s Heart and Soul

When cooking congee, rice won’t just be an ingredient. It’ll be the heart of the dish itself.

That said, when preparing this comfort food, don’t just blindly grab any rice from the grocery store.

Of course, as they say, most rice (except for Basmati) will create relatively okay congee. 

But why settle for an OKAY congee when you can have outstanding congee instead?

Remember, it’s Jasmine, Sushi, or Calrose rice. Those are the three go-to grains for congee.

Yield: 4

Simplest Chicken Congee

Chicken congee with vegetables in a white bowl.

Need a warm bowl of congee in less than an hour? This recipe is so easy to follow that I can cook it with zero problems, even when I’m sick.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 cup of jasmine rice (uncooked)
  • 8 cups of chicken broth
  • 10.5 ounces of chicken breast (with or without bone/skin)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Chopped green onions
  • Ginger (julienne-cut)
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • White pepper


  1. Grab a strainer and rinse Jasmine rice two to three times.
  2. In a large pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Once the broth boils, add the chicken breast to the pot. Partially covered, continue boiling for 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken has cooked throughout.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside to cool. Shred the meat when cooled.
  5. Once the broth boils again, add the rinsed Jasmine rice. Allow the pot to return to a boil before proceeding to the next step.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium. Partially cover the pot once more and simmer until the rice thickens. Stir occasionally.
  7. Add the shredded chicken back into the congee.
  8. The dish is now ready to serve. In each bowl of congee, add your preferred garnishes, such as chopped green onions, a few drops of sesame oil, white pepper powder, and julienne-cut ginger. It’s really up to preference!

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