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4.86 from 21 votes

Extra (Ap)Petite: The Best Arroz Caldo / Congee


Makes approx. 6 servings (fills my 5.5 Qt Le Creuset pot). If adjusting portion, just maintain a 1 to 10 ratio for rice to liquid.

  • 4 to 6 half inch thick chunks of peeled ginger
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 6 to 8 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1.5 lbs chicken thighs *
  • 1 cup white or brown rice rinsed
  • 10 cups liquid (broth and water) **
  • 1 bunch collard greens, chopped into small pieces
  • Optional: Nick’s mom adds a stalk of lemongrass, pinch of saffron

Topping Ideas

  • Fish sauce, soy sauce, scallions, cilantro, crushed chicharron, fried garlic / shallot
  • Soy cured egg yolks (separate out uncooked egg yolks, place into a bowl, cover mostly with soy sauce, refrigerate for 24 hours)


Stovetop Directions

  • Sauté aromatics in a little oil over medium-low heat until fragrant.
  • Push aromatics to one side and place the chicken in the pot. Season everything with salt and pepper while in the pot, including the aromatics.
  • Flip chicken and season the other side. Once both sides of the chicken are lightly browned, stir in the uncooked grains of rice until it’s well coated by the aromatics and oil.
  • Add in the liquid and collard greens.
  • Once your pot comes to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer for 2 hours on the stovetop. Stir occasionally, especially towards the end as the rice will start sticking a bit to the bottom.
  • Taste and season your pot at the end with a little salt and/or fish sauce. I prefer to keep the pot very lightly seasoned and add the majority of my flavor with toppings!

Instant Pot Directions

  • Follow steps 1 through 4 above using the “Sauté” setting.
  • Cover and cook using the Porridge setting for 20 minutes and allow natural release.


* You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs, bone in thighs or drumsticks. For Chinese congee I use pork ribs or pork back bones plus some dried shrimp & dried scallop, and cook for 40 minutes in the Instant Pot.
** Important to use at least some broth and not all water. We make this with 4 cups of beef broth, and water for the remainder amount. I fill the box up with water to rinse out any residual broth.