Xi-fan (Vegetarian-style Congee)

Set yourself up for a healthy day with Ching He Huang's meat-free version of the Chinese breakfast favourite, packed with wholegrains and pulses
By Ching-He Huang
Xi-fan (Vegetarian-style Congee)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus soaking time
  • Effort: easy


  • 6 dried chinese dried mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 200 g brown basmati rice
  • 200 g healthy grain mix such as green split peas, whole green lentils, millet, barley flakes pearl barley
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 litres vegetable stock
  • handful canned bamboo shoots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • pinchfreshly ground black pepper
  • small handful coriander, chopped


1. Fill a kettle with water and bring it to the boil. Soak the Chinese mushrooms in just enough hot water to cover them for 20 minutes. Drain and chop the caps finely, discarding the stems.

2. Heat a wok over high heat and add the oil. Stir-fry the garlic, ginger and Chinese mushrooms for less than 1 minute. Add the carrot, brown rice and healthy grain mix and continue stir-frying for less than 1 minute.

3. Add 1 litre of boiling water from the kettle. Cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring and adding up to a further 2 litres of boiling water as necessary to make sure the rice and grains are thoroughly cooked.

4. Stir in the red pepper then pour in the vegetable stock. Add the bamboo shoots and season with the light soy sauce, sesame oil and ground black pepper. Sprinkle in the chopped coriander and serve immediately.

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