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Thai Coconut Congee
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5 from 1 vote

Thai Coconut Congee

Prep Time55 mins
Cook Time22 mins
Total Time1 hr 17 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: dairy free,, vegan,, vegetarian,
Servings: 4 portions


Thai red curry paste

  • 4-6 dried red chillies depending on how much spice you like
  • 2 red chillies deseeded and chopped
  • 50 g galangal or ginger peeled & chopped
  • 2 lemongrass outer skin removed & chopped
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 Tbls coriander stems from a small bunch chopped
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 Tbls lime zest
  • 1 Tbls paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp shrimp paste use miso if vegan or veggie
  • ½ tsp caster sugar

Coconut Congee

  • 225 g Jasmine Rice
  • 1.5 Litres chicken or vegetable stock
  • 400 ml coconut milk full fat
  • 4 large clove garlic peeled & sliced
  • 3 Tbls sunflower oil
  • 2 red chillies, mild deseeded and chopped
  • 3 cm piece fresh ginger peeled & cut into julienne
  • 8 kaffir lime leaves
  • 4-5 Tbls naam pla (fish sauce) use soya sauce if vegan or veggie
  • 2 tsp honey use sugar if vegan
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bunch Thai sweet basil or ordinary European basil
  • 2 Tbls toasted unsalted peanuts, crushed
  • 2 Tbls Thai red curry paste or according to taste
  • 1 Lime

Optional extra

  • 4 skinned chicken thighs


To make the Thai red curry paste

  • Place the chopped chillies in a bowl and pour over 100ml boiling water. Leave to soak for 30 minutes. Drain, but keep the chilli water.
  • Tip the cumin and coriander seeds into a small pan and toast until fragrant. Put the chillies and spices into a food processor with the remaining ingredients and pulse until relatively smooth, adding some of the chilli water to help blend into a purée.

The paste will keep in an airtight jar, in the fridge, for a month, alternatively you can portion into an ice-cube tray and freeze. You'll only need 2 tablespoons for this recipe.

Thai Coconut Congee

  • Begin with the chicken, if using, poach in the chicken stock for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove and set to one side. Check you still have 1.5 litres of stock, if not top up with water.
  • Next the rice. Do not rinse, just place in the stock and simmer for 15 minutes, leave it to swell in the stock - don’t drain.
  • In a wok or deep pan, fry the sliced garlic in the oil until it just begins to colour. Remove two thirds of the slices and set to one side. Add the curry paste and the chopped chillies to the wok or pan and gently cook for a minute. Add the coconut milk, 600ml water, half the lime leaves, fish sauce and honey. Bubble for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Next, shred the chicken. Add the tomatoes to the congee with the rice, some of the stock, and gently cook for about 2-3 minutes, add more stock if the rice swells too much. Finally the chicken, basil leaves and prepared ginger .
  • Serve in bowls, topped with the reserved garlic, crushed peanuts, the remaining lime leaves and a wedge of lime.