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A porridge or gruel made from rice and served with a variety of toppings and seasonings.

What we call congee in English has many different names depending on the country or even region where it’s served. Some details can vary from cuisine to cuisine, but the basic result is the same: a hot, rib-sticking rice porridge.

Congee is thought to have originally come from China but has since become a common food or side across much of Asia, from Korea and Japan to India to Thailand and the Philippines. Regardless of the different congees, it all starts with the simple process of boiling rice in water — just with more water and for more time than one would normally do to cook rice. This can be done in just water with a pinch of salt, or in a broth or stock. Other seasonings are also sometimes added during cooking.

After boiling, it’s common to put toppings on congee like chicken, eggs, green onions, or about a hundred different items. If it’s without toppings, often congee will be served with other foods on the side; although, plain congee by itself is a common food for those recovering from an illness since it’s filling, warming, mild, and easy to eat.

Since plain congee only takes two ingredients, you can always find the main one — white rice — at all of our Uwajimaya locations! Otherwise if you’re looking for congee toppings, our produce and meat sections are a good place to start.