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May 21, 2010 11:32 AM

Can I make Congee (Jook) in a Pressure Cooker?

I have made congee in a rice cooker, on the stove, and in a slow cooker. All come out well, but they take a long time to get to the thick consistency that I like. Last night, I had a hankering for congee but didn't want to wait hours for it, so ended up not making it. But it occurred to me this morning - maybe I could have made it in a pressure cooker? Has anyone done this? Would you use less water than normal? (My general rule is 7-8 cups water to 1 cup white rice.) Will it foam too much?

I recently bought a pressure cooker and am still a little unsure of how to use it, so any tips would be appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. I have no clue about presure cookers but I will say we have had great success doing our congee in the rick cooker overnight and then freezing it. It gets nice and thick and if you want to keep some for later, you just thaw it. . . .

    1 Reply
    1. re: jenn

      Wow, I've never thought about freezing it! Thanks for the tip.

    2. Jook in a pressure cooker is do-able. Since I don't have a pressure cooker you could use leftover rice or precook the rice in a microwave.

      1. You should be able to make jook in the pc; it would be a classic application. The quantitites you use depend on the size of your pc. Don't overfill it the pc, so you won't have to worry about foam. Cook for longer than just plain rice, and use more water (as you are doing).

        You may have to experiment with cooking times, but jook is forgiving because it is reduced to watery mush.

        1. sure can. I just started doing it. It comes out perfect. I'm guessing I use about a 12:1 water to rice ratio, doesn't matter if you have way too much water, you can just skim some off at the end and let it boil to homogenize the mixture.

          I put the PC lid on, seal it, and then once the pressure valve starts to move, I take it completely off the stove and let the pressure naturally go down. Then I put it back on the stove and let it build up the pressure again. I do it about 3 times. After the pressure has gone down after the third build up, I take the lid off, put it on the stove, and use a whisk to break down the rice a bit.

          the congee is perfect, no mess, and the consistence is amazing. if you have too much water, you can just strain a few ladles of congee into a strainer to get rid of the excess water and put the rice back in and re-integrate it.

          I've tried a lot of different techniques to make congee. Using the PC this is by far the easiest, most consistent, and fastest approach.

          13 Replies
          1. re: karneyli

            karneyli, just curious about the technique of repeatedly pressurizing and depressurizing the rice-&-water mixture, rather than continuously cooking it at high pressure. Do you do it that way because of concerns about foaming, or does it actually produce a different texture?

            1. re: Miss Priss

              It is completely because of foaming. If I left it on the heat and just let the pressure escape, eventually the foam will start to escape from the pressure escape valve.

              I would imagine you might be able to find a happy balance between high pressure and minimum amount of heat to keep the pressure near the max but not causing the foam to come out of the escape valve. But I would also venture that it isn't worth the effort. It takes about 10 minutes off the burner for the pressure to subside and then you can bring the pressure back up again in 2-3 minutes on the heat.

              1. re: karneyli

                I wonder whether one would need to do all that pressuring and depressurizing if you used leftover you thank that would work?...and would it be quick and easy? anyone tried???

                1. re: ChowFun_derek

                  well you make an assumption I've got left over rice and haven't used it for fried rice :)

                  using left over rice probably would reduce the amount times you need to pressurize and depressurize the PC. Anything that cuts down on time that doesn't affect the outcome is a win in my books!

                2. re: karneyli

                  Thanks, karneyli. My primary PC is a Kuhn Rikon with a spring valve rather than a rocking weight, so foaming is less of an issue. I've made passable congee in it by cooking the ingredients at high pressure for about 20 minutes and then letting the pressure drop naturally; it turned out OK but wasn't quite as thick and porridge-y as I'd hoped. Next time, I'll try whisking it as you suggest.

                  1. re: Miss Priss

                    Miss Priss -- I'm new to using a pressure cooker. I also have a Kuhn Rikon (Duromatic), which I guess has a spring valve. Why is foaming less of an issue with that kind of valve? Is foaming a worry at all while cooking congee or rice, generally? Thanks!

                    1. re: goodeatsgal

                      Goodeatsgal, some pressure cookers regulate the pressure with a weight that sits loosely on top of an open vent tube and allows steam to vent continuously during cooking in order to keep the pressure from building up too high. (Presto is one example.) If the pot's contents are very foamy, they can clog the tube and cause an excessive buildup of pressure, and/or they can escape upwards through the vent pipe and cause a big mess. The Kuhn Rikon valve doesn't have an open vent tube, so there's a lower risk of stuff escaping out of it--though of course if you let too much pressure build up, it will eventually happen (or else it will blow the security plug, or the side vent). Also, the KR has two pressure settings, and the instructions suggest using the lower one for foamy foods. However, I've been cooking rice, steel cut oats, and other foam-prone stuff at the high pressure setting for years and haven't yet had a problem. In my opinion the Duromatic is a great product--I hope you really enjoy it!

                      1. re: Miss Priss

                        Your explanation was very helpful, Miss Priss. Thanks, and I'm going to try making jook in the pressure cooker this weekend!

              2. re: karneyli

                I tried it your way and it comes out perfect; just like Big Wong in Chinatown,NYC makes it. It is my go to recipe any time I want to make some Jook. Thanks for posting it.

                Now if I could make steamed sponge cake the way the fung wong bakery which used to be on Mott Street used to make. They made it in a sheet cake and would sell it in big chunks. It was great with tea. They also had the best mixed nut as well as black bean and lotus seed moon cakes. Also their almond cookies were great. No one makes them as good these days

                1. re: karneyli

                  I used a bit less water (10 c. instead of 12 c.) and it was PERFECT. THanks, Karneyli.

                  1. re: karneyli

                    I just tried your pressure cooker congee method. 10 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. I used natural chicken bouillon, 1" ginger chunks, minced garlic, and at the end of cooking, added some frozen chopped kale and leftover rotisserie chicken. Maybe because I'd left it on pressure for too long, because when I tried to release the pressure naturally, it started foaming out and shooting all over the stovetop! What a mess! The next 2 times, I just ran the pressure cooker under cold water for rapid release, and it was much easier and cleaner! The jook came out perfect, just needed to add some water as it cools and starts to dry up. Thanks for this tip! Helped cut cooking time by a lot!!

                    1. re: fan9090

                      'release the pressure naturally' - by just letting it sit without heat? It sounds more like you opened the pressure release value (quick release).

                      Electric InstantPot recommends 'natural release' (i.e. sit without heat) for porridge and congee to prevent foaming that can result with quick release.

                      Cold water is method my mom used frequently with the Presto rocker weight cooker. I haven't used it as often with the Fagor. And obviously it isn't an option with the electric one.

                      1. re: paulj

                        I hope that you didn't add those extra ingredients with the one rice cup and ten cups of water? That could clog the steam outlet hole. It is better to make the congee by itself and pour the boiling congee over the other ingredients which will cook them; that is the way Big Wong and other restaurants do it.

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