This pumpkin congee is like a warm hug on a cold evening! Prepared from just 6 ingredients, this rice porridge gets its natural sweetness from the roasted pumpkin. Infused with garlic and shallots, it's warming, fortifying, and incredibly easy to make!
The concept of this dish is extremely simple, it's basically pumpkin cooked with rice and a lot of water. It yields a savory soup that is not too thick or too thin, has a very subtle sweetness, and makes the perfect base for your favorite savory toppings!
📘 What is Congee
Congee is a classic Asian dish that is prepared by boiling rice with water to make a porridge. It is usually enjoyed in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and many other countries, for breakfast.
Congee is also often served to people who are ill or have a cold, as it is warming and easy to digest. Rice porridge has a subtle flavor, so it's always topped with savory toppings like fried bread, sautéed mushrooms, fresh herbs, etc.
🥣 How to Make Pumpkin Congee
First, let's take a look at what you will need to prepare this pumpkin rice soup:
- Pumpkin - Here, I used Kabocha squash, but it will work perfectly with sugar pumpkin as well. I do not recommend using butternut squash as they flavor would be milder.
- Garlic and shallots - To add flavor to the porridge.
- White rice - Any kind of rice will work, personally I love basmati rice for its floral and nutty aroma.
- Sticky rice - The addition of sticky rice helps thicken the porridge.
- Salt & black pepper - To season, you can also add a pinch of cinnamon and/or nutmeg.
It starts with the pumpkin that is roasted for about 40 minutes, until it's melty. Roasting brings a deeper flavor compared to boiling or steaming.
Next, sauté shallots and garlic for 3-5 minutes, or until fragrant. Add both types of rice, pumpkin purée, and cover with water. Season with salt and sugar, and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the rice has broken down.
The rice should be overcooked, if it's still too firm, cook covered for another 5-10 minutes.
🥄 Congee Toppings
While this congee is great on its own, it is the toppings that really take it to the next level. Here are a few of my favorite options:
- Sautéed mushrooms: Cook sliced mushrooms in a skillet, deglaze with soy sauce and ground black pepper, and use as topping!
- Toasted sesame seeds: For a little crunch and a nutty flavor, sprinkle your congee with toasted sesame seeds!
- Youtiao: Also called Chinese donuts, youtiao is a long deep-fried stick of dough. Cut into chunks and add on top of the porridge for some crunch!
- Vegan meat floss: check out our Vegan Meat Floss recipe!
- A splash of soy sauce: For extra saltiness.
- Chili sauce: if you want to add spiciness, add a drizzle of Sweet Chili Sauce or Saté.
- Green onions, cilantro, or basil for freshness.
If you are looking for a hearty, healthy, and flavorful meal, you are going to love this pumpkin congee!
It's super creamy, easy to make, plus it keeps very well. Meaning you will have enough for a few days, just switch up the toppings!
Let me know in the comments, and feel free to leave a rating if you try this recipe!
- ½ kabocha pumpkin (or sugar pumpkin) seeds and pulp removed
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- ½ cup dry basmati rice
- ¼ cup dry sticky rice soaked in water for 1 hour
- 5 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- toppings: green onions, soy sauce, vegan meat floss, toasted sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Brush the pumpkin halve with oil and place it cut-side down on the baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Let cool a few minutes. In the meantime, soak the sticky rice in water.
- Next, heat the oil in a deep saucepan. Once hot, add the shallots and garlic, and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Scoop out the pumpkin purée from the roasted pumpkin halve and add to the saucepan.
- Add the basmati rice, drained sticky rice, and cover with the water. Season with the salt, sugar, and ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until the rice has broken down. At this point, if you think the congee is too thick, add more water. Taste and adjust saltiness as needed.
- Divide between serving bowls and top with your favorite toppings!
- Congee will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Reheat over low-medium heat covered, and add more water if it as thickened too much.