Congee Vs Risotto: Know the Differences!

There are a few differences you are about to know which we could provide as congee vs risotto.

So, congee vs risotto, what is the difference?

Congee is a rice porridge common in Asian countries made by boiling rice in water or broth, flavored with meat, seafood, veg, or eggs. Risotto is an Italian dish made by sautéing the rice in butter/oil, adding hot broth until it gets tender and creamy, made with arborio rice, often served as a main course, and flavored with mushrooms, seafood, or cheese.

Following this article, you will get to know not only the differences but also the recipe for these two dishes.  

Congee Vs Risotto: Quick Comparison

Let’s jump into the quick comparison of the core differences between congee and risotto as we did we arroz con mariscos vs paella previously. Refer to the below table.

Feature Congee Risotto
Protein UsedGround chicken, beef, or porkBeans, Chicken Thighs (crispy), Ricotta, Scallops, Roasted Shrimp, cooked Sausage, poached egg
Popular Rice UsedBasic white long-grain rice, basmatiArborio
Condiment UsedFresh scallions, cilantro, soy sauce, or fish sauceOnion, wine, onion, butter, parmesan cheese, chicken broth, sea salt
Cooking ContainerInstant Pot (or pressure cooker)Heavy-based saucepan or casserole dish 
Cooking MethodPartially covered with chicken broth on cooked rice (1 cup) simmered with water (2 cups)Cook on a low temperature for sticky and add one ladle at a time of stock gradually
Calories190 calories (1 cup without topping 252g)413 calories (1 cup 337g)


The dish congee has a long history and is believed to have originated in China during the Zhou dynasty, around 1000 BC. The name “congee” is derived from the Tamil word “kanji,” which means “boilings”. 

The dish has been consumed for over 3,000 years and is a staple in many Asian countries, including China, Japan, and Indonesia. 

It is often served as a savory breakfast dish and can be flavored with various toppings such as ginger and sesame oil.

On the other hand, risotto is a rice dish from northern Italy that is cooked with broth until it becomes creamy. History tells us that in the 14th century when Sicily and Spain were ruled by the Arabs, they introduced rice to those countries.

Short-grain rice, which is used in risotto, was best grown in Italy. The rice was given a delightful ending in Milan, where the dish got fame.

The meal is comparable to paella because Milan was ruled by Spain for nearly 200 years. There are now numerous risotto versions available, each with its own unique blend of flavors and ingredients as the dish has developed over time.

Protein Used:

Both congee and risotto can be made with various proteins, depending on the recipe. Congee is often made with minced meat or has meat or seafood mixed in for a savory flavor. It can also be made with chicken thighs, bone broth, and ginger.

On the other hand, risotto can be made with a variety of proteins, such as lobster, chicken, shrimp, or fish. The protein is usually added towards the end of the cooking process and is cooked with rice and broth to infuse the flavors. The choice of protein used in both dishes can vary depending on personal preference and the recipe being followed.

Popular Rice Used:

Both congee and risotto can be made with different types of rice, depending on the recipe. Congee is typically made with long or short-grain rice, which is the same type of rice used for plain rice. 

The rice is cooked with a higher liquid-to-rice ratio and takes longer to cook than regular rice, resulting in a soupier texture. However using rice with great amount starch can caus the rice bubble like soap.

On the other hand, risotto is made with short-grain rice, specifically Arborio rice, which has a high amylopectin (starch) content. The rice is toasted in the pan lightly, then broth is added gradually, and the rice is stirred until it reaches a creamy consistency. The choice of rice used in both dishes can affect the texture and flavor of the final dish.

Condiment Used:

Both congee and risotto can be flavored with various condiments and toppings, depending on the recipe and personal preference. 

Congee is often served with toppings such as ginger, sesame oil, scallions, pork floss, and various meats or seafood. Cantonese congee is commonly topped with cilantro, Chinese chives, dried shrimp, and century eggs. 

On the other hand, risotto is often flavored with sautéed onions, butter, cheese, and various herbs and spices, depending on the recipe. Some popular risotto toppings include mushrooms, radicchio, beans, sausage, and seafood. The choice of condiments and toppings used in both dishes can affect the flavor and texture of the final dish.

Cooking Container:

The cooking container for congee and risotto is different. Congee is typically cooked in a pot or slow cooker with a high water-to-rice ratio until it reaches a porridge-like consistency. On the other hand, risotto is cooked in a wide, heavy-bottomed pan with a low water-to-rice ratio and stirred constantly until it reaches a creamy consistency. 

The type of rice used is also different, with Arborio rice being the preferred rice for risotto, while any short-grain rice can be used for congee. While both dishes are made with rice, the cooking method and container used are different, resulting in different textures and flavors

Cooking method:

Congee has to be boiled carefully at high heat with one cup of cooked rice simmered with 2 cups of water or chicken broth partially covered. On the other hand, the risotto should be cooked at a low temperature, simmering heat, adding stock gradually and one ladle at a time


For 1 cup, without toppings (252g) calories is 190 (amount per serving). For 1 cup (337g) risotto calories is 417 (amount per serving).

What Are Some Famous Recipes of Congee and Risotto?

Recipe of Congee:

Ingredients needed:

  • 3/4 cup of long-grain rice
  • 8 cups of water
  • chicken 
  • beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Shredded chicken
  • Ginger, garlic, Lotus root, shredded pork, shredded bok choy
  •  boiled egg

Now, follow the below steps:

  • First of all gather all the required ingredients.
  • For 30 minutes wash and soak the rice in water and then drain the water.
  • Take 8 cups of water with rice in a large pot or dutch oven to boil.
  • While boiling the rice, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot with a sloped edge to let some steam escape.
  • Stir occasionally and cook the rice on low to medium heat until it resembles thick and creamy porridge. It might take between 1 1/2 and 1 3/4 hours.
  • Putting the salt, taste, and then add any additional garnishes, like crushed peanuts, as desired.
Recipe of Congee
Source: Pups With Chopsticks

Recipe of Risotto:

Ingredients needed:

  • 3 cups of water
  • black pepper
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 4 tbsp of butter
  • ¼ tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp of chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp of finely chopped basil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • arborio rice-1/2 cups 
  • 1 cups of Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cups of dry white wine
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Step 1: Bring water and broth to a simmer in a medium pot.

Step 2: In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat in a large straight-sided skillet. When the onion is ready, add it and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The garlic should be added and stir-fried for about a minute, or until fragrant.

Step 3: Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and stir the rice into the onion mixture. Around 4 minutes of continuous stirring will get the rice to a mild toasty stage.

Step 4: Combine rice and wine, then bring to a boil. Cook for about 30 seconds, or until the liquid is practically gone.

Step 5: Several ladles of warm liquid should be poured into the skillet. Heat should be reduced to medium, and the broth should be cooked while being gently stirred. Cook the rice by adding a few ladles of stock at a time and stirring until the liquid is absorbed until it is al dente (to the teeth), which takes about 20 minutes.

Step 6: Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, Parmesan and lemon juice after taking the skillet off the heat. Then add salt and pepper to taste.
Step 7: Before serving, top with parmesan, basil and chives.

Recipe of Risotto
Source: Delish

Tips For Making Congee & Risotto

For Congee:

Here are some tips for making Congee:

  • Pre-soak the rice: Soak the rice grains for at least 2 hours or more. It is better to soak the rice in fresh water for 5 or 6 hours before adding it to the pot.
  • Use warm or hot water: Use warm or hot water to cook the rice. This will help to speed up the cooking process.
  • Make a congee base: Use chicken or vegetable broth as a base for the congee to add more flavor.
  • Add protein: Add your choice of protein, such as chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, or fish, to the congee for a more filling meal.
  • Stir frequently: To prevent it from sticking stir the rice frequently into the bottom of the pot.
  • Cover the pot halfway: Cover the pot halfway to keep the water boiling without spilling over.
  • Add toppings: Add toppings such as scallions, ginger, sesame oil, and soy sauce to the congee for more flavor.

By following these tips, you can make a delicious and nutritious bowl of congee in a relatively short

For Risotto:

Here are some tips for making Risotto:

  • Use high-quality ingredients: Use high-quality rice, broth, cheese, and other ingredients to ensure the best flavor.
  • Use the right rice in the right pan: Use short-grain rice, specifically Arborio rice, and a wide, heavy-bottomed pan to ensure even cooking and absorption of the broth.
  • Use warm stock: Use warm broth or stock to add to the rice gradually, which helps to cook the rice evenly and maintain its texture.
  • Stir frequently: Ensure even cooking stir the rice frequently from prevention of sticky to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add ingredients gradually: Add ingredients such as onions, garlic, and wine gradually to build flavor and depth.
  • Season well: Season the risotto with salt, pepper, and other seasonings to taste.
  • Don’t overcook: Cook the risotto for about 17 1/2 minutes, depending on how much you’re making, and avoid overcooking it.

By following these tips, you can make a delicious and creamy risotto that is rich in flavor and texture.

How To Serve Congee & Risotto?

It totally depends on people and how they want to serve them. You can add anything such as meat, fish and others.

For Congee: 

  • You can serve it with ground pork, shredded chicken, sausage and egg.
  • You can aslo serve it with mushrooms, cabbage and other vegetables.
  • Few people like to serve with lotus and nuts. 
  • Thai basil and peanuts are also good choices to add.

For Risotto:

  • You can serve it with lemon or baked chicken on a flat plate.
  • Roasted carrots, tomato ragu and zucchini are highly encouraging to serve with.
  • Ricatto meatball is another good option.

Congee vs Risotto: Nutrient Facts 

Both congee and risotto provides good nutritional values. 

Nutrition Facts Of Congee:

Here’s the nutritional value of Congee. Refer to the table below.

Risotto Nutrition Valu Per Cup Serving, Without Toppings (252g)
Amount Per Serving Calories190
Total Fat 2.8g
Saturated Fat 0.8g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.8g
Monounsaturated Fat1.3g
Cholesterol 6.7mg
Total Carbohydrates 32g
Dietary Fiber0g
Sugars 3.5g
Protein 7.6g
Potassium 256mg

Nutrients of Risotto:

Here’s the nutrition value of the Risotto. Take a look at the table below.

Risotto Nutrition Valu Per Cup Serving (337g)                                                                                       
Amount per serving Calories 413 calories
Total Fat13g
Saturated Fat 7g
Trans fat 0.4g
Polyunsaturated Fat1g
Monounsaturated Fat3.9g
Total Carbohydrates54g
Sodium 1451mg
Dietary Fiber 1.5g
Sugars 4,7g
Protein 14g
Potassium 256mg
Vitamin D 0.2mg
Calcium 164mg
Iron 1.5mg
Potassium 342.7mg

What Can I Do With Leftover Congee And Risotto?

For Congee: 

Leftover congee can be used in various ways to create new dishes. Here are some ideas:

  • Congee pancakes: Mix leftover congee with flour, eggs, and seasonings to make savory pancakes. Serve with soy sauce or other dipping sauces.
  • Congee soup: Add vegetables, meat, and broth to leftover congee to make a hearty soup.
  • Congee fried rice: Use leftover congee instead of plain rice to make fried rice. Add vegetables, meat, and seasonings to create a flavorful dish. Ensure you use a good stainless steel rice cooker for the best result.
  • Congee porridge: Reheat leftover congee and add milk, honey, and fruit to make a sweet breakfast porridge.
  • Congee risotto: Use leftover congee instead of Arborio rice to make a creamy risotto. Add cheese, vegetables, and seasonings to create a unique dish.

By using leftover congee in creative ways, you can reduce food waste and create new and delicious dishes.

For Risotto:

There are several ways to repurpose leftover risotto into new and delicious dishes. Check out these ideas:

  • Risotto cakes: Mix leftover risotto with flour, eggs, and seasonings to make savory cakes. Fry them in a pan until crispy and golden on the outside.
  • Arancini: Roll leftover risotto into balls, stuff them with cheese or other fillings, and fry them until crispy. They make a great appetizer or snack.
  • Risotto soup: Add broth, vegetables, and meat to leftover risotto to make a hearty soup. Simmer everything together until the flavors meld.
  • Risotto frittata: Mix leftover risotto with eggs and cheese to make a frittata. Bake it in the oven until set and golden brown.
  • Risotto salad: Use leftover risotto as a base for a salad. Add vegetables, nuts, and dressing to create a flavorful and filling dish.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Can Congee And Risotto Be Kept Overnight?

Both congee and risotto can be kept overnight if stored properly. Leftover congee and Risotto should be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator and can be stored for up to five days. They can also be frozen for longer storage. However, if the risotto contains meat, it is better to keep it for up to three days

How Many Days Are Congee And Risotto Good For?

Leftover congee can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days. It can also be frozen for longer storage. Leftover risotto should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and can be stored for up to three to four days. If the risotto contains meat, it is better to keep it for up to three days

Can I Eat Congee or Risotto Every Day?

Congee and risotto can be eaten every day. But it is important to consider the nutritional content and portion sizes. Congee is a simple and easily digestible dish that is often used medicinally to promote good health and strong digestion.


These are all the differences between congee vs risotto. are discussed here for your help. I am sure this article has given you all information you want to know. Have a great day! See you later.

Leave a Comment