Simple Shrimp Congee Recipe

Warm, nourishing bowls are a favorite meal for so many occasions. Whether you need a pick-me-up in the form of a hearty dish or the cooler weather calls for a hot dinner, you can't go wrong with this simple shrimp congee recipe. Food Republic recipe developer A.J. Forget comments, "Congee is such a simple, comforting dish. All it takes is a few ingredients and a little time, and you have yourself a delicious pot of soul-nourishing porridge."

Congee is an essential component of many diets in Eastern Asia, and the rice porridge is cheap, versatile, and endlessly customizable. Forget notes that his recipe veers away from some traditional styles made with chicken, but he adds that "the sweet shrimp and the salty porridge make a perfect pair." Although you might not gravitate toward this meal during a heat wave, "This dish is perfect for cool weather, with the long simmer filling the house full of wonderful aromas," Forget describes. Whatever we have going on, we could all do with a heartwarming bowl of goodness.

Gather the ingredients for this simple shrimp congee recipe

For this recipe, you'll need medium-sized, shell-on shrimp. Don't get shelled shrimp as a shortcut — the shells infuse a ton of flavor into the chicken broth used to cook the congee. Next, mince some fresh ginger and garlic, and thinly slice a few scallions. Separate the scallion greens from the whites, as you'll be using them in different parts of the recipe. Finally, long grain rice is essential, as is a splash of sesame oil for a warm and nutty aroma.  

Prep the shrimp and broth

Start by shelling the shrimp — although tedious, this step is necessary to give the dish its umami essence. Set the shells aside for the broth, then chop the actual shrimp into 1-inch pieces. To start the broth, pour the chicken broth into a large pot and bring it to a boil. When it starts to bubble, toss in the shrimp shells and simmer the contents for 5 minutes. Once the liquid has absorbed the shrimp flavor, strain and discard the shells.

Rinse the rice

Pour the rice into a bowl and cover it with water. Use a spoon to stir it a dozen times, then drain off the water. This step is important to create an optimal texture. "When it comes to congee, it is all about releasing the right amount of starch into the pot to make a thick porridge," Forget explains. "Too little and you have a soup. Too much and it turns gummy. By covering the rice with water and giving it a few stirs before straining, we wash off some of the excess starch, ensuring a perfect pot of porridge with a wonderful, thick consistency."

Add the aromatics and rice to the pot, and cook

Toss the minced ginger, garlic, and sliced scallion whites into the broth. Add the soaked rice and bring the contents to a boil. When it starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Simmer the rice for 45-60 minutes, stirring it occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the pot.

Add the shrimp, garnish, and serve

When the congee reaches a thick, porridge-like consistency, mix in the chopped shrimp. Cook the congee for another 3-5 minutes until the shrimp is cooked through. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Lastly, garnish the shrimp congee with scallion greens and serve it hot.

You can serve this hearty dish as a one-pot meal, or Forget notes that it pairs great with vegetable dishes on the side. "Alternatively, if you want to get really creative, congee can serve as a risotto-like side to a meat entree. Shrimp congee with a nice piece of beef is an excellent pairing," he says. As for leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat them in the microwave or on the stovetop on low heat.

Simple Shrimp Congee Recipe
5 from 40 ratings
Creamy and full of lightly sweet shrimp flavors, this easy congee is comforting whether you eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Prep Time
Cook Time
shrimp congee bowl top view
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • 1 pound medium shell-on shrimp
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • ¾ cup long grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced (greens and whites separated), divided
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  1. Remove the shells from the shrimp and set them aside, then chop the shrimp into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large pot and add the shrimp shells.
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes, then strain out the shells.
  4. Meanwhile, place the rice in a bowl and cover it with water. Stir 12 times, and strain.
  5. Add the ginger, garlic, and scallion whites to the broth, then stir in the rice.
  6. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover.
  7. Simmer for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches a thick porridge consistency.
  8. Add the chopped shrimp pieces and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through.
  9. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the sesame oil, then garnish with scallion greens and serve hot.
Calories per Serving 412
Total Fat 7.7 g
Saturated Fat 1.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 197.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 46.2 g
Dietary Fiber 0.9 g
Total Sugars 8.0 g
Sodium 825.6 mg
Protein 37.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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