Congee (Jook, Xifan, Jyu-bai-gayu)
This recipe is featured in Global Cuisine for Tiny Tastebuds
Congee is a traditional Asian breakfast and/or comfort food. It is a warm rice porridge that many Chinese, Malaysian, Japanese and other Asian mothers make as a first food for their children. Congee is easy to digest and can be used as a vehicle to introduce other fruits, vegetables and flavors to your baby. It’s also very easy to make!
You can try brown rice or other grains if you want some variation (millet, barley, oats, or a combination). You can also add different vegetables and seasonings (one at a time) once baby is ready. Sweet potato and squash are two common additions.
Here is the basic congee recipe and a few variations. As always, check in with your pediatrician and your baby’s taste buds.
- Servings Makes about 473 ml (2 cups)
- 200 grams (1 cup) long grain white rice
- 2.3 liter (10 cups) water
1. In large pot, boil rice and water together, for about 25-30 minutes. The consistency, especially if given as first food, should be smooth and porridge-like. Adjust cooking time as necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Sweet Potato Congee
1. Peel one sweet potato and cut into 2.5 cm (1-inch) or so size chunks. Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Add potato and boil until very soft.
2. For younger babies, purée in blender with a little bit of the cooking water and stir into congee. For older babies, cut potatoes into small pieces and add to congee. Spice it up with a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg.
1. Butternut, acorn, or a squash of your choice, will all work fine for this recipe. Peel squash and cut into chunks. Boil or roast in oven until very soft (pieces should be soft enough to mash with your fingers).
2. Purée squash in blender and add to congee. For older babies, dice into chunks and add. Stir in a drop of sesame oil, fish sauce, or a pinch of ground or freshly grated ginger to season.