My Steel-Cut Oatmeal Congee is a thick Asian-inspired savory porridge that can soothe a sore throat or just make you feel cozy after a bad day.
It’s flavored with rich umami from mushrooms and soothing-to-your-stomach ginger. This Asian-inspired oat congee is made with oats instead of the traditional rice.
Ready to curl up in a blanket and just take a deep breath? This vegan savory porridge is just what you need.
If you have a tummy ache it’s soothing and can help, but if you are just tired and need to nuture you bosy and mind mushroom congee is just what you need to decompress.
This oat congee recipe makes enough for two but feel free to double or triple if you’re feeding more or want to keep some in the fridge for the duration of your cold. The mushrooms and ginger are great for getting your immune system back on track.
What is congee?
Congee is a thick Asian comfort food that can soothe a sore throat or just make you feel better after a bad day.
Traditionally it’s a thick stew made of rice and flavorings that are cooked with extra water to create a porridge. You’ll find it in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnemese foods to just name a few.
In this recipe we use steel-cut oats in place of the rice and it’s one of the most popular recipes from my book, OATrageous Oatmeals.
Americans aren’t as used to having a savory thick porridge, but once you try it you will be hooked.
Is congee vegan?
Congee is a porridge that is made by slow cooking rice. The dish is then topped with your own choice of toppings.
But in most cultures traditional congee is made of meat, so you will have to ask questions if you are ordering it out.
Even if it doesn’t contain meat, it may be cooked in a meat stock.
Is this good when you are sick?
Originally, it was used as a famine food because the rice is stretched to last and water is added.
Now, it is more known to be a dish you serve when someone is sick. It’s easy to make and gentle on the stomach. The ginger in thei recipe is also good for upset tummies.
What does it taste like?
By itself it doesn’t have a ton of flavor. It’s actually meant to be a bland dish as a base for any flavorful toppings you want to add.
Think of it as a blank canvas. If you are sick you may keep it bland, but if you are eating it for warmth and comfort you can layer on the flavors.
Mushroom Oat Congee ingredients
You just need a few simple ingredients like vegetable broth or vegan bouillon with water, steel-cut oats, minced mushrooms (shiitakes are great), minced carrot or sweet potato, grated fresh ginger are all you need for the base.
You’ll flavor it with some hot pepper flakes, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and you can add a little salt if you want.
How to make it
Just add the broth, oats, mushrooms and minced carrot or sweet potato to a pot and bring to a boil.
Then lower the heat to medium-low and add in the ginger, soy sauce and vinegar.
Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the oats are tender and the porridge is thick.
What can I put on top of congee?
There are many possibilities with congee since it does not have a distinct or overpowering taste, so you can top it off with a lot different kinds of toppings that add different flavors to your congee dish. Here is a list of toppings that are typically topped on congee:
- Fresh cilantro
- Extra fresh grated ginger
- Sliced hot peppers
- Bean Sprouts
- Soy Sauce
- Chili garlic sauce
- and more!
Since eating the oat congee alone is a bit bland, side dishes are usually served with the dish. Here are some side dishes you can whip up and side with congee:
- Sweet and sour carrot salad
- Carrot spinach salad
- Stir-fried Chinese yams with tomatoes
- Different pickled vegetables (like onions or cucumber)
These are just some examples but feel free to pair your oat congee with different salads for freshness or other sweet side dishes until you find the perfect side dish for you.
How to make congee in your slow cooker?
If you have a slow cooker then you can also use it to make your congee.
Just put all your ingredients in your slow cooker, cover, and cook it for either 8 to 10 hours on the lowest setting or 5 hours on high, or until it has a thick consistency.
Vegan chicken broth sound like a contradiction, but you can still get some of that wonderful umami flavor in your vegan soups and stews without any meat.
If you haven’t tried adding nutritional yeast to your vegan recipes, you are in for a treat. It’s inexpensive and adds B vitamins too!
But beyond just adding nutritional yeast, you can try my homemade vegan bouillon!
“If you thought oats were just for breakfast or cookies, prepare to be dazzled. Kathy Hester has taken the humble grain to new heights in this collection of savory and sweet oat recipes that include blackberry mojito refrigerator oats, steel-cut oat sausage crumbles, oat dosas with coconut chutney, and much more.” —Robin Robertson, bestselling author of Vegan Planet, Quick-Fix Vegan, One-Dish Vegan and many more
“I absolutely adore Kathy Hester’s amazingly creative and delicious recipes using oats. She will have you thinking of oats in brand new ways, and you will suddenly want to buy them in bulk. Thank you, Kathy!” —Julie Hasson, author of Vegan Casseroles, Vegan Pizza, Vegan Diner and more
More Oatmeal recipes to try:
Here are more recipes that are great for the cold weather:
- Cool Weather Comfort Vegan Menu Plan
- Vegan Earl Grey Slow Cooker Steel-Cut Oats w/ Rosewater
- 4 Warming Winter Slow Cooker Oatmeals
Mushroom Ginger Steel-cut Oat Congee
- 3 cups vegetable broth , sub vegan chick'n broth or vegan bouillon with water
- 1/2 cup steel-cut oats , can sub rolled oats for a creamier texture
- 1/2 cup minced mushrooms (shiitakes are great)
- 1/4 cup minced carrot , or sub sweet potato
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- hot pepper flakes to taste
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- Bring the broth, oats, mushrooms and minced carrot or sweet potato to a boil in a medium pot.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and add in the ginger, soy sauce and vinegar.
- Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the oats are cooked and the stew becomes thick.
- Before serving, add salt to taste and spice with hot pepper flakes.