Winter comfort food that is healthy and satisfying – Mushroom Ginger Oatmeal Congee. This recipe requires minimal preparation and can be ready in less than 30 minutes. Perfect for cold & flu season!
Okay kids, how cozy is this? If you enjoy this bubur ayam (chicken congee) recipe, then you will love another congee version. Except for this time, it’s savory oatmeal congee with crispy mushrooms, ginger, and chicken broth. It’s so comforting and filling, and my go-to meal when the weather is cold.
Why you need to try this recipe
I can give you a long list of why you need to try this savory oatmeal congee, but let me sum it up to these:
Comforting. This Asian-inspired savory porridge is so comforting and will make you feel cozy after a bad day.
Customizable. This recipe is meat-free and perfect for Meatless Monday; however, you can add shredded chicken or minced beef.
Flavorful even with simple ingredients. It has lots of texture from crispy mushrooms, fried egg, to umami sauce.
Not a morning person? Make a slow-cooker oatmeal congee version so you can have it ready when you wake up.
What is congee?
Congee is a rice porridge with a thick or thin consistency. There are many kinds of congee types. Some food hawker places in Indonesia have a thicker consistency congee while you’ll see a thinner consistency in food stalls in Hong Kong. They both taste delicious and perfect for breakfast or dinner, or when you’re not feeling well.
Today’s congee recipe is even better because I’m making cozy savory oats congee using steel-cut oats. And when cozy is the name of the game and healthy-ish is in the mix somewhere, this savory oatmeal congee becomes everything.
It starts with the standard comforts of chicken broth and steel-cut oats but also includes:
- Oats. I use steel-cut oats in place of the rice
- Ginger to give a pungeant spicy aroma
- Mushrooms. I use a combination of oyster and maitake mushrooms
- Fish sauce and soy sauce. Note that I use two different types of sauce. They each have slightly different tastes and textures; however, they give a savory depth of flavors when combined
- Green onion to give a somewhat peppery flavor
- Sesame oil to saute the ginger
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Optional: fried egg, chili oil
How to make mushroom ginger oatmeal congee?
- First, prepare a medium pot and add the ginger to the pot. Cook until fragrant for a few minutes with sesame oil. Then add chicken broth and steel-cut oats; stirring occasionally until the oats are cooked. Add in fish sauce, soy sauce, and white pepper
- While the oats are cooking, air fry the mushroom. Sprinkle the chopped mushrooms with garlic salt and toss them in all-purpose flour. Arrange the mushrooms in the air fryer basket. Spray lightly with canned olive oil. Fry for 10 minutes at 350F or until they turn crispy. Note that each air fryer has different setting for heat
- Make a sunny side-up egg in a medium nonstick skillet over low heat. Crack an egg and add it to the skillet. Cover with a tight lid and cook, uninterrupted, until the whites are completely set but the yolks are still runny, about 2 1/2 minutes
- To serve: transfer oatmeal congee to a bowl, top with green onion, crispy mushroom, fried egg, and drizzle with chili oil
Depending on how you like the consistency, you can add more broth to the pot.
Quick-cooking oats or regular rolled oats won’t work for slow-cooker overnight oatmeal congee since it will get mushy. Instead, use only steel-cut oats like these.
Some slow cookers give a setting to switch to “off” or “keep warm” after the cooking time is through to prevent overcooking or burning. If your slow cooker doesn’t give that open, I suggest you make the slow cooker oatmeal congee during the day and then reheat it the next morning.
What are some topping options for mushroom oatmeal congee?
- Chinese donuts
- Leftovers rotisserie chicken, shredded
- Hot pepper flakes
- Fried tofu
- Fresh cilantro
- Fried onions
Slow-cooker oatmeal congee
If you’re not a morning person, then making overnight oatmeal congee in the slow cooker solves the problem and lets the magic happen in the slow cooker overnight. To make it, double the amount of oats, ginger, sesame oil, chicken broth, fish sauce, and soy sauce.
- Combine steel-cut oats with sesame oil, ginger, chicken broth, soy sauce, and fish sauce in the bottom of a 4-to-6-quart slow cooker and stir to combine
- Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours (overnight) or on high for 4 hours, until the oats are soft but maintain a bit of chew. Remove cover and stir to evenly combine the ingredients. Enjoy it warm with desired toppings
Stove-top oatmeal congee can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; however, slow-cooker overnight steel-cut oats can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or stay frozen for up to 2 months.
To reheat, top desired amount with a few tablespoons of water or broth. Warm it in the microwave or in a small saucepan until warm enough to eat. Be sure to let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator if the oatmeal is frozen.
Looking for more breakfast ideas?
- Breakfast Salad – Yes, breakfast salad is a thing and it is worth waking up for. Start the day with a bright, fresh, and delicious veggie-packed breakfast and crunchy savory cheese crisp. This breakfast salad is easy to assemble with a few pre-prepped ingredients and makes a delicious side dish!
- 1-Bowl Baked Oatmeal – Baked oatmeal is bread pudding for breakfast! Made with a handful of healthy ingredients, this easy recipe comes together in 1 bowl and leaves you satisfied all morning.
- Breakfast Smoothies on the Go – Breakfast smoothies are the best way to start your day. Filled with fruit, chia seeds, almond milk and a little hint of your green intake, these breakfast smoothies will keep you feeling satisfied till lunch.
- Oatmeal Breakfast Bowl – Oatmeal Breakfast Bowls-You Will Love These Satisfying Oatmeal Bowls That Are Loaded With Delicious Toppings! The Perfect Oatmeal Recipe To Start Any Morning!
Savory oatmeal with mushrooms is one of my favorite underrated breakfasts. If you like big flavors. And if you like topping options galore. Plus if you like recipes that come together in a hot second. YOU CAME TO THE RIGHT PARTY.
Mushroom Ginger Oatmeal Congee
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- 2¼ cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce to taste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce to taste
- 1 inch fresh ginger peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Dash of white pepper
- Green onions sliced for garnish
Air fryer mushroom
- 8 ounces assorted mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon garlic salt
- 1 can olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Chili oil
- In a small pot, add sesame oil and ginger; then cook for 2-3 minutes
- Add rolled oats and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. The oats will be cooked through and begin to thicken. Continue cooking until the oats are cooked or until you reach the consistency you want, about 15 minutes
- Add fish sauce, soy sauce, and white pepper. Stir, and garnish with scallions
Air fryer mushroom
- Sprinkle chopped mushrooms with garlic salt and toss them in all-purpose flour. Arrange the mushrooms in the air fryer basket. Spray lightly with canned olive oil. Fry for 10 minutes at 350°F or until they turn crispy
- Add butter to a medium nonstick skillet over low heat. Crack an egg and add it to the skillet; then add another egg to a skillet. Cover with a tight lid and cook, uninterrupted, until the whites are completely set but the yolks are still runny, about 2½ minutes
- Transfer oatmeal congee to a bowl, top with green onion, crispy mushroom, fried egg, and drizzle with chili oil