Feb 8, 2017

Food Remedy for Colds: Chicken and Shiitake Congee

It has been pouring rain the whole winter here in San Francisco - and the whole Bay Area. I guess the unpleasant weather is not so good for our body, and many of friends have been sick recently. Of course, you can go to the doctor and take the medication right off. But sometimes you want your body to heal faster, or it has just begun and you want to nip it in the bud, or maybe you are pregnant and try to avoid any medications. Or you simply want to have something delicious for lunch. Try this chicken and Shiitake Congee! 


  • Ginger has been known for reducing nausea, soothing the digestive system, and helping treat colds or flu. Shiitake mushrooms help regulate the immune system. 
  • Chicken (or other protein) rev up the immunity. 
  • According to Chinese medicine, fuzzy melon is a "gentle" kind of food and is suitable for everybody, including those who are ill.
  • Garlic and green onion kill germs.

Prep time: 30 mins 
Cook time: 2 hours 
Total time: 2.5 hours 
Yield: 6-8 servings 


White rice: 360ml (two rice cooker cups) 
Ginger: 8 slices
Chicken thighs: 2-3 lb (about 900-1300 grams)
Shiitake mushrooms, raw or dried: 0.3 lb (about 130 grams) 
Fuzzy melon / Hairy melon / Mo Qua (毛瓜/節瓜): 2 cups (about 300g)
Garlic: 6-8 cloves
Green onion: 3 or 4 (about 6-8 tbsp when chopped)
Salt: to taste 


  1. Add ginger, rice, and 5 liters of water into a large pot. Cover and cook on high, stirring occasionally. 
  2. If you use dried shiitake mushrooms, soak them in hot water until soft. Cut chicken thighs into smaller pieces if you like. Slice shiitake mushrooms and fuzzy melon. 
  3. Add chicken thighs and sliced shiitake mushrooms. When the mixture boils, turn to low and cook for about 2 hours. 
  4. 30 minutes before you serve the congee, add the sliced fuzzy melon.
  5. Five minutes before the congee is done, mince garlic and add it to the congee.
  6. Cut off the tips and root of the green onions, then chop.
  7. Serve hot. Add salt to taste. Sprinkle with green onion.


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