Instant Pot vegetarian congee: soupy rice that makes everything better
I didn’t grow up on congee (a.k.a. jook, porridge, or probably many other things that I am wholly unaware of), but there is almost nothing that I would rather eat on a cold, rainy Seattle March evening. I know, I know. If you grew up on it, you probably had it for breakfast. Or when you were sick. I fully support its use at both of those opportunities, but when you’ve been slogging your children around 40-degree, soggy Seattle, and you stumble home after the final after school activity of the week, there are few things more appealing than a cozy bowl of soupy rice. The trouble is, it takes an hour and half to make on the stovetop. Enter Potsy, of course.
This recipe comes from a combination of this one and this one, but really, congee is all about the toppings. You get to make it your own. The actual recipe has very few ingredients, but you get to make any adjustments you see fit. Cut back on the ginger and garlic if your belly is feeling wobbly. Crank them up if you have a head cold. It’s going to seem like a lot, but trust.
While the Instant Pot is working its magic, go ahead and prepare all the toppings you desire. I’m fond of a fried egg, a sprinkling of fresh chopped cilantro, sesame seeds, scallions, sliced peppers, a splatter of sesame oil, and a spritz of sriracha. Sambal oelek would also be delicious, and chilis in vinegar, Thai-style, would be perfection if you have them on hand. But go ahead and go crazy. Crushed roasted peanuts? Yum. Shredded Thai basil? Yes please. Any other vegetable? Sure.
Instant Pot vegetarian congee
- 1 cup white basmati rice
- 6 cups water
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1/2 ounce dried, sliced shitake mushrooms
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 large zucchini, chopped
Toppings: fried, poached, or boiled eggs, sesame seeds, sesame oil, chopped cilantro, sriracha, scallion slices, sliced pepper, hoisin or soy sauce, anything else that sounds delicious.
Place the minced ginger and garlic into the Instant Pot liner along with the shitake mushrooms, rice, and water. Stir.
Seal the Instant Pot and press the "porridge" button - this should set for 20 minutes of cooking at high pressure. You can use the manual button if you prefer.
While the Pot is coming to pressure and cooking, chop the carrot and zucchini and set aside. Then prepare your toppings.
Allow the Instant Pot a natural pressure release, otherwise you will spray your kitchen with porridge and clog the vent. Ugh. This should take about 10 minutes.
When the pressure has released, unseal the lid and quickly tip in the chopped carrot and zucchini. Stir it around and then put the lid back on. Wait a minute or two, and then go ahead and serve; the veggies will have softened enough by then.
Add your toppings and eat!