Instant Pot Chicken Congee

Goldilocks never saw this one coming. Congee is something I was recently introduced to and I just fell in love. It’s a Chinese rice porridge (a thick and hearty soup) that typically contains a protein like chicken or pork and is also commonly eaten for breakfast but can be served any time of day. I certainly prefer it for a super delightful lunch or dinner on a chilly day. Congee is comforting, yet LIGHT (and gluten-free)! Complex in flavor, yet EASY TO MAKE! When I served it to my folks, it was a huge win with them. I left the leftovers behind and my mom let me know that she was obsessed and polished them off the next day. This dish is so outstanding, wholesome and easy to make in your Instant Pot, that’s it’s going to be in my Lighter Step-By-Step Instant Pot Cookbook!   Here’s How I Made It! (scroll to the bottom for the fully-written recipe): 

Add some rice to the Instant Pot… 

…followed by water… 

…crushed/minced ginger… 

…crushed/minced garlic… 

…and maple syrup (the real stuff). 

Stir together. 

Now take some dark meat chicken with the bones-in and skin-on (I use a mix of thighs and legs)… 

…and add it to the pot, so it’s submerged below the water. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure. 

When done, the chicken is basically going to fall apart at the touch of some tongs. But take the chicken out… 

…and place in a bowl to cool for a bit. Once cooled, pick the chicken meat from the bones and discard the bones, skin and cartilage. Set aside. 

Now’s let’s go back to the pot and allow it to thicken into a Congee! Give it some heat until it bubbles. 

Then spice it up with some seasoned salt and garlic salt. 

Stir and let simmer for 10 minutes. 

Then, add in some more seasoned salt and garlic salt along with garlic powder, onion powder and white pepper. 

We’ll also add in a little more maple syrup… 

…coconut aminos (or low-sodium tamari or low-sodium soy sauce – more on this in the “Jeff’s Tip” section)… 

…some optional gluten-free hoisin sauce for additional flavor… 

…and some sesame oil to finish it off! 

Add the shredded chicken back to the pot… 

…and give everything a stir until combined. Kill the heat and switch the pot to Keep Warm. (NOTE:I strongly suggest you let it rest for a solid 20-30 minutes to not only thicken up and cool down a bit, but allow the flavors to really come together just before serving!

When it’s time to serve, grab a ladle… 

…and place in bowls. 

DEFINITELY top with some freshly sliced scallions. To me, this is the simplest and best pairing for a Congee! 

Now check out this absolutely divine porridge you’ve created. 

…try it out… 

…and summon the guests (or in this case, my parents – aren’t they cute?) 

Try it out together.. 

…and cheers your soup bowls! 

Congee. Bringing loved ones together with a de”light”fully perfect meal!

Instant Pot Chicken Congee
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Chicken Congee

Instant Pot Chicken Congee

Congee is comforting, yet LIGHT (and gluten-free)! Complex in flavor, yet EASY TO MAKE!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 3/4 cup jasmine or any white long-grain rice, unrinsed
  • 6 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon crushed or minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided
  • 4 pounds dark meat chicken with skin on and bone in (I used 2 pounds of thighs and 2 pounds of drumsticks)
  • 4 cloves garlic, freshly pressed or finely chopped/minced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt, divided in half
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt, divided in half
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos, low-sodium tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free hoisin sauce (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil (any kind)
  • Scallions, sliced for topping


  1. Add the rice, water, ginger, garlic and 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup to the Instant Pot. Stir well.
  2. Add in the chicken and make sure it’s submerged in the broth. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position and hit Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 25 minutes. When done, allow a 20-minute natural release followed by a quick release (NOTE: if anything spurts out during the release, simply throw a dish towel over the nozzle or allow a full natural release until the pin drops).
  3. When the lid comes off, it will appear very soupy which is exactly how it should look. Using tongs, remove the chicken and place in a bowl to cool and then pick the meat from the bones and discard the bones, skin and cartilage.
  4. Hit Keep Warm/Cancel and then hit Sauté and Adjust so its on the More or High setting. As the pot begins to bubble, add in 1 teaspoon of the garlic salt and seasoned salt each. Stir occasionally as it will continue to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add back the chicken and stir along with the remaining tablespoon of maple syrup, the remaining teaspoons of seasoned salt and garlic salt, garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper, hoisin sauce (if using), coconut aminos, and sesame oil. Stir well.
  6. Hit Keep Warm so the congee can rest and cool down a bit for 30 minutes as all the flavors will come together in this time.
  7. Serve topped with sliced scallions, which are the perfect touch!

Jeffrey's Tips

To give you a quick run down on lighter soy sauce subs:

  • Coconut Aminos is a lower sodium, gluten-free, and soy-free soy sauce that is lower in sodium AND a touch sweeter but doesn’t taste anything like coconut. Think of it as almost a soy sauce-teriyaki sauce combo.
  • Tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce and tastes basically identical to soy sauce. It’s also available in low-sodium which is what I prefer

Want to sub brown rice instead of white? Go for it, although the consistency will be slightly different. Same cook times!

Congee is served great hot OR cold –  and it will really thicken up once cooled in the fridge.

Reader Interactions


  1. ashok

    My Family Loved it. I am definitely sharing Guys, Thanks For sharing this Great Recipe. this recipe and this website with my friend. Hope they also love it. Thank you again for sharing such a great recipe.

  2. Emily

    Oh. My. God. This recipe is -so- good that I’m making it for the second time today ! I have an eight year old who is losing teeth and can’t eat a lot of things, and a guy who just had his wisdom teeth pulled .. I made it for them and they -loved- it. It was instantly gone !

  3. Pamela

    I love your recipes and have been using them since day one! I am sending your cookbook to someone who is afraid of her IPs!
    But can you please tell me why the maple syrup? I’m Chinese and Thai and have never seen that in a “Jook” recipe. We eat ours with a salted duck egg, oyster sauce, scallions and lots of cilantro. My mom made fried savory donuts to go with the Jook. I also add a splash of sesame oil. I will try this recipe minus the maple syrup unless you can convince me to add it!

    • Jeffrey

      Well thanks for the lovely words! The maple syrup is to add a very small touch of natural sweetness which sets this apart! Give it a shot 😉

  4. Kim

    I made this for my three year old who had a stomach bug. It is delicious. I think the fresh ginger was a little much for the three year old but she still ate the chicken. I recommend, especially if you are under the weather!

  5. Sheila

    You make me kvell when I watch your personality shine. Your parents must be so proud of your success. You’re not hard to look at either. Happy Rosh Hashanah.

  6. n0sferatu

    J, do you really need to take a picture of every ingredient going to the pot? I can probably make it faster the following your instructions…

  7. Karen

    This is even better than what I had when I was living in China! To be honest, I think Congee in China was pretty bland and this is definitely a notch above that!

  8. Michael

    I tried this recipe and it was some great comfort food for a cold day. I’m gonna make this for my Chinese mother-in-law. Hope she likes it!

  9. Megan

    You did it again! This congee recipe has flavor and interesting tastes, so much better than what my Chinese mother-in-law made! I’m gonna make this for her next time!

  10. Jeff

    This “congee” recipe was so good! You definitely improved on what is a centuries old traditional recipe! I wonder if Chinese ppl would be impressed

  11. Wang Peng

    Sorry, but this cannot be considered “congee”. If you gave this to a random Chinese person, they would not be able to identify it as such.

  12. Christine

    I’m chinese and love that someone non Asian would experiment with something so traditional and serve it to their parents (your parents are so cute!!)
    Recently I was watching Blondie in China and she had a special on congee. The take away from that video is.. congee, like rice, is a blank canvas. You add your own colors and flavors… here’s the link,

    In our household, that has always been the mantra. There is no set rules.. just try not to use the entire jar of Lao Gan Ma chili crisp. We need to make it last thru the week!

  13. Marjean Krech

    Thank you for mentioning low sodium options. My husband just had triple bypass heart surgery and low sodium is crucial to his health.

  14. KK

    Could this be made with chicken breast and if so, how long would the time be? My husband does not like or eat dark meat chicken. For me this looks wonderful!

    • Jill

      I would think that if it is frozen bone-in, skin-on thighs it would be fine. The cook times for thawed chicken makes for every soft, shreddable chicken. You might increase the natural release time a bit for frozen; you’d have to try it.

  15. Donna

    Hi Jeffrey – just made this and it looks wonderful! I was wondering how it freezes? I would like to set some aside to take to my aging parents when I see them next.

  16. Patrick

    Any chance you’ll be doing a Century Egg and Pork version?! It’s my husband’s fave and I am betting you’ll make a fantastic recipe. Besides, I can always use another one of your cookbooks!

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