Teochew Sweet Potato Congee

Rate this recipe


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Chinese Heritage Cooking

Chinese Heritage Cooking

By Christopher Tan and Amy Van

Published 2018

  • About

Unlike the thick creamy-smooth Cantonese-style congee, Teochew congee is more watery, with rice grains that are soft but still distinct and whole. Sweet potatoes are sometimes added for their natural sweetness and a contrasting texture. This congee is accompanied by an assortment of small dishes such as pickled/salted vegetables, salted egg and preserved radish (chai poh) omelette. Teochew restaurants or hawker stalls selling congee typically offer a large selection of side dishes, including such items as steamed pomfret and tauyu bak, fried fish, stir-fried minced pork, and many more.


  • Long grain rice (Thai jasmine rice or other high-quality long grain rice) 200 g (7 oz)
  • Sweet potato (orange or yellow) 1, large
  • Water about 1 litre (32 fl oz / 4 cups), depending on preferred softness of congee


  1. Rinse rice 2–4 times or until the water runs almost clear. Set aside.
  2. Peel sweet potato and cut into large bite-size pieces. Bring a small pot of water to a simmer, then add sweet potato and cook for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, until sweet potato is almost done. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a clean pot, combine washed rice and about 1 litre (32 fl oz / 4 cups) fresh water. Over high heat, bring rice to a rolling boil. Leave pot uncovered or half covered, but be careful not to let it boil over.
  4. Add sweet potato to rice, lower heat slightly to maintain a steady gentle boil, and cook for about 15 minutes, until rice grains are soft, the sweet potato is tender, and the liquid slightly starchy. Add a little more water if necessary.
  5. Turn off heat, cover pot tightly and let congee stand for 10–15 minutes, so the grains soften and relax further in the residual heat.
  6. Serve congee with side dishes of your choice.