Chef J Chong’s recipe for breakfast congee

Start your day with this hearty and healing Cantonese dish.

close up of breakfast congee

What a way to start your day.

Photo provided by Chef J Chong

Chef J Chong dazzled the country last winter by becoming a finalist on HBO’s cooking competition, The Big Brunch. Her creations included dishes like dim sum and congee with grilled prawns. Fortunately for us, this local talent has generously shared a similar recipe: breakfast congee.

A hearty (and healing) dish, it reflects J’s belief that “food is medicine.” In fact, she says congee is “typically made and eaten when we are feeling under the weather.” She adds, “I grew up eating it, and because it is soothing, it’s easy to digest.”

Ready to try it for yourself? Here’s what you need.


  • 1 cup jasmine rice (rinsed in fine mesh strainer until the water is not cloudy)
  • 7 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 6 slices of ginger, julienned
  • 1 tbsp. coarse salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. ground white pepper


  • 10 pieces cooked bacon. Pro tip: Vegans + vegetarians can use fried tofu puffs from YZ Asian Market.
  • 4 large local eggs
  • 4 tsp. of J Chong Eats chili oil or to taste
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
  • 4 tsp. olive oil or ghee


  1. Bring broth and ginger to a boil.
  2. Stir in washed jasmine rice. Once the rice has been added, bring back up to a boil, then reduce the heat to low-medium so that it cooks at a low simmer.
  3. Simmer for about an hour. During the cooking process, be sure to give it a stir periodically to prevent it from sticking.
  4. Once you have reached the desired consistency, taste it for seasoning. Add more salt or white pepper if needed. If you find that the congee is too thick, add more broth to loosen it up.

Topping preparation:

  1. Heat a nonstick pan on medium heat, add 1 tsp. of ghee or oil and cook your egg sunny side up (or to your favorite temperature). Be sure to salt and pepper.
  2. Cook bacon in the oven or your favorite way. Once the bacon is cooked, give it a rough chop and set aside.
  3. Slice scallions thinly and rough chop cilantro for your garnish.

To serve:

  1. Ladle congee into your favorite serving bowl.
  2. Top with your egg and sprinkle bacon (or tofu), scallions, and cilantro.
  3. Drizzle with chili oil.
More from AVL Today