Fish Congee

Fish Congee

Congee (rice porridge) or moey in my mother tongue, Fujianese is a comfort food like none other. It was the first solid food taken by me, my two boys, and countless others in a rice base culture. It is easy on the tummy, healthy, delicious, and a breeze to cook. Meats, fish, seafood, eggs, and vegetables can be added to make it a complete stand-alone dish eaten any time of the day.

Chicken Congee is a top favorite but so are Minced Pork Congee and this tasty Fish Congee. The preparation is basically the same except that fish is added only towards the end because it cooks so easily. Sometimes a little pickled radish is thrown in to give it an additional boost of flavor. Do not omit the garnishes as they are part of the dish. Yew char kway (Chinese crullers) may be omitted to keep it naturally gluten free.

Fish Congee

Any kind of fresh white fish may be used for Fish Congee. The fish should be thinly sliced and marinated prior to adding to the congee. Sea bass, grouper, and cod are all good choices. If whole fish is used, be aware of the bones when eating the congee. Ginger is a must in Fish Congee to neutralize any “fishy” odor that may arise if the fish is not super fresh. Ginger also provides a little heat and is soothing for the tummy especially in this cold weather.

Fish Congee
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 lb (450g) fresh white fish (sea bass, grouper, cod)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1½ cups (300g) rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1-inch knob ginger, peeled and slightly smashed
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
  • 3 green onions, finely sliced
  • 2-inch knob ginger, peeled and finely julienned
  • A few sprigs of cilantro, stems removed
  • Fried shallots
  • Chinese crullers (yew char kway)
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Ground pepper
  1. Rinse and pat dry fish with paper towels. Using a very sharp knife, thinly slice fish at an angle.
  2. Combine fish, soy sauce, pepper, and sesame oil in a bowl. Mix well and allow it to marinade for 30 minutes.
  3. In a large pot, rinse rice till water runs clear, about 3 to 4 times, drain.
  4. Add smashed ginger and 10 cups (2.4 liters) water to the rice and set it on the stove to boil. When water comes to boil, remove lid and allow it to simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes. If porridge gets too thick at any point, stir in ½ cup (120ml) water to dilute.
  5. Add marinated fish and salt to the porridge. Stir to get everything well mixed. Let porridge come back up to a boil and allow it to cook for another 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in fish sauce, if using. Turn off heat.
  7. Serve in individual bowls topped with green onions, ginger, cilantro, fried shallots, and yew char kway. Drizzle with a few drops of sesame oil and soy sauce. Add a little more pepper if desired.

Here is my delicious bowl of comfort. Do give it a try and also check out my other congee recipes in the links below.

Fish Congee

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎

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  1. Dr. Winfred Winfield says

    Yum yum; where is your restaurant? My wife and I would like to go on a genuine fish porridge date. We were in Singapore over a year ago for a month. Seriously, many of the foods that my wife grew up with like Hokkien Mee, wanton soup, chicken rice or even siew pow kai, I prepare a much delicious meal than what we had eaten there. We were so disappointed. I find that a cultural disgrace as a culture should value its food that came along. So your porridge looks so yummy, I want to eat the picture. Take care.

    • Linda says

      Thanks Dr. Winfred! Always good to have you visit. Over the years, many of the original hawkers have either retired or left the country and sometimes the younger generation is not keen to learn the trade. Therefore, the deterioration. I find that to be true in Malaysia as well. I am happy to hear though that you are an excellent cook. Your wife is truly blessed. Take care and God bless!

  2. says

    Linda, you already had me at the comforting bowl but when you said it’s a breeze to cook, that’s it! Looks so tasty and perfect for this wintery Paris weather for a touch of the exotic. I won’t quite look at my Scottish porridge in the morning quite the same 😉

    • Linda says

      Thanks Jill! This truly is comfort food at its best. It is something I grew up with and love to this day. Good to have you visit. Stay warm. :)

  3. DongXing says

    That’s what I would have liked for lunch at work today when the weather outside was simply AWFUL!!!! The south of England had seen far too much rain and floods, with more to come…. I love congee of any type but fish is the ultimate best for me. I love it for the slivers of fine ginger, white pepper powder and soya sauce. My kids are not a fan of congee but if I sprinkle some fried baby anchovies on top of the congee and put extra anchovies aside to munch later, I can just about persuade them to eat it… Happy Valentine tomorrow and also Happy Chap Ngoh Mei to you and the family, Linda!

    • Linda says

      I can eat congee just about every day. It is so warm, comforting, and delicious. Fried anchovies is a great condiment for congee. Can’t blame your kids for liking it. I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day as well as an auspicious Chap Goh Mei.

  4. Beth Watson says

    How many calories are in this? It looks amazing and I have everything to make it tonight!!!! Thank you for sharing!

    • Linda says

      Unfortunately, I do not have that information Beth but I am sure it can be easily computed with one of the calorie counters out there on the web. I hope you enjoyed the dish. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Philip says

    Looks great, thanks for posting the recipe and beautiful pictures. Off to the grocery store to buy some white fish!

  6. Spenja says

    Hey. The congee looks quite good and I think i will give it a try soon. But I have a couple of question before that.
    1) would you recommend to add the fish sauce ? Since i have bever used it I have no clue how it tastes like and so I am not sure how it benefits (or not )to the
    2) if I would like to add fish balls. When should I add them to the congee ?
    3) is basa fillet fine ?

    Thank you for answering. Your blog is amazing :)

    • Linda says

      1) The fish sauce gives the congee just a little umami flavor. Fish sauce on its own has a strong smell and taste. When added to soups in small quantities, it provides additional flavor. You can certainly leave it out if you prefer not to use it.
      2) I would not recommend adding springy/bouncy fish balls in congee. It is okay if it is the soft kind. I don’t think it will not taste bad but it is usually not done (at least to my knowledge). You will find springy fish balls in clear noodle soup but seldom if ever in congee. Perhaps it is a texture and safety issue.
      3) I just did a search on the web. Basa is like a catfish? It should be fine. Any mild white fish can be used.

      Thanks for the compliment! :)

  7. Jessica says

    Thank you for the recipe. I have made it twice now in the past month! It is so delicious, even without the garnishes (which I didn’t have the first time I made it). I love the delicate flavor of the fish combined with the ginger. It is definitely a warming food for this frigid February.

    • Linda says

      So glad to hear you enjoyed this fish congee. :) It is perfect for cold mornings like this one. Woke up to -10 degrees F this morning…brrr!


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