Brown Rice Congee

I’ll always remember eating my first bowl of congee because it coincided with my very first glimpse of a beluga whale’s penis.

I promise I’m not a pervert – let me explain.

In 2006, I was a member of the media relations team at the Vancouver Aquarium. One weekend, I was hosting a group of journalists from China and we were having breakfast in the underwater beluga viewing area.

It was before the place opened. The area was quiet and serene, and the lighting dim, which emphasized the glowing white blubber of the four belugas who swam before us.

And then, as we were enjoying our congee, the Aquarium’s sole male beluga glided by the window – splaying his erection for all to see.

Um, awkward.

We had a good laugh about it, because what else can you do? That’s nature. And then we went back to our congee.

This congee recipe is not traditional at all, but it tastes delicious, satisfying and comforting. Beluga whale genitalia is not included.

Brown Rice Congee
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, vegan, soy-free, five ingredients or less
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4 to 6
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 6-8 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 heaping cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 heaping cup shredded kale
  • salt to taste
  1. Soak the brown rice in water for at least an hour. Drain and rinse the rice in a strainer, then dump it into a medium-sized pot with four cups of water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the rice cook, uncovered, for an hour or two, until it breaks down and becomes a porridge.
  3. Add more cups of water as needed, depending on how thick you want your congee.
  4. When the congee has reached the consistency you want it to be, stir in the salt, kale and zucchini and turn off the heat. Let the vegetables wilt for a few minutes, then serve.


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10 Responses to Brown Rice Congee

  1. Bonnie Duchscherer June 4, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    Sure glad you explained about your encuonter with the beluga whales penis, not many have had that experience .

  2. Eat Healthy Be Happy June 4, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    Best opening sentence ever.

  3. A Table in the Sun June 5, 2012 at 3:23 am #

    You just never know where a food blog is going to take you. Thanks for a good laugh!

  4. thefoodery June 5, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    I agree with Eat Healthy Be Happy!!! This stuff is also great with corn and fresh cilantro. :)

  5. jammed-thoughts June 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    I think this post deserves an award (for the food and the story!)

  6. Paco's Mom November 26, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    This is probably the healthiest and yummiest congee recipe I’ve come across. Thank you!

  7. Jayne January 11, 2015 at 5:39 am #

    I am curious about whether the congee is good the next day and if you can freeze it. I am looking for great lunch options. Thans.

    • Sondi January 11, 2015 at 10:37 am #

      This will keep for a couple of days in the fridge. I’ve never frozen it, but I imagine it would freeze well too.