Traditional Chinese breakfast recipe: beef mince congee

Updated: 21 Feb 2012
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Beef Mince Congee 


This is an old-fashioned breakfast I always had when I was a primary-school aged kid. To me, a bowl of nice and hot congee before going to school seemed to be a luxury enjoyment, although it didn’t cost much at all. The traditional way of enjoying the congee is to go with a plate of steamed rice noodle rolls or deep-fried dough , aka “you tiao” .

You can make some plain congee a day or a few days ahead, and store it in fridge. Whenever you need it, just bring it to boil and pop in some marinated beef mince. There you go, a nice and hot breakfast is served in a few minutes. This congee is best served hot. The highlight of it is the soft, tender and just cooked beef mince. That’s why Hong Kong chefs often ladle boiling congee over beef mince. You might like to replace with any meat you like, for example, pork or chicken.

Beef Mince Congee (Printable recipe)

By Christine's Recipes
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 100 mins
Yield: 3 to 4 serves


145 gm (about 1 rice cup) rice
3 L (6 cups) water
salt, to taste
oil, to taste
150 gm beef mince
35 gm rice vermicelli (aka rice sticks, rice noodles)
deep-fried peanuts, to taste, optional
spring onion, diced to taste 


Making steps


1 egg white
3 tsp water
2 tsp cornflour/corn starch
2 tsp oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
sesame oil, to taste


Rinse rice two to three times. Drain well. Mix with a little bit of oil and salt. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Use a large pot, bring 3 liters of water to boil. Add the rice and stir to prevent from sticking to the bottom. When it boils again, reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until the rice soften and the congee thickens, about 1½ hours. Be sure not to let it spill over along the way of cooking.
Heat up one-third of a pot with oil over medium heat. Put a tiny bit of rice vermicelli to test the temperature of the oil. If the rice vermicelli immediately floats to the surface with bubbles vigorously arise, the oil is ready. Deep fry the rice vermicelli until it turns fluffy, yet not brown. Immediately drain out and place on kitchen towels to absorb excess oil. Let it cool completely.
Mix the beef with the marinade. Mix in the rice vermicelli.
Put the marinated beef in the congee, or place at the bottom of individual serving bowls, then ladle boiling congee over it. Sprinkle some spring onion and fried peanuts if you like. Enjoy!


For making best congee, I learned a trick from my mother-in-law. Mix the rinsed rice with a bit of oil and salt before cooking it with boiling water. The rice will be broken down very quickly and produce a very nice starchy texture.
Along the way of cooking, the congee is easily spill over as a result you'll loose the fantastic, smooth, starchy content broken from the rice. Thus, keep an eye on it and try not let it spill over by all means.
When it comes to mixing the beef with the marinade and rice vermicelli, it’s better to use your hand (Clean your hand of course, or wear hygienic gloves.)
Don’t over cook the beef. The beef turns tough otherwise. That’s why Hong Kong chefs often ladle boiling congee over beef mince instead of cooking it in boiling congee.




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