Sampan Congee


Cantonese Jyutping
Mandarin Pinyin

Sampan Congee

Originally cooked on small wooden boats called sampans used by the fishermen of the Canton province (hence the name), this congee is often topped with fish, shrimp, scallops, squid, fried peanuts, green onions, and coriander. A truly Cantonese congee. Be sure to ask for Chinese fried dough (油条), also known as youtiao, which is a staple addition to any congee. Note that congee is simply a type of rice porridge.


Recipe - Sampan Congee

Method: stovetop

Difficulty: low

Estimated Prep Time: 0.5 - 3 hours

Estimated Cook Time: 1 hour

Servings: 4


  • 1 cup (130 grams) of white rice (we prefer short grain)
  • 0.6 cup (150 ml) of water for presoaking and marinading rice
  • 7.5 cups (1.8 liters) of water for cooking the congee
  • 2.6 ounces (75 grams) of lean pork (pork shoulder butt, tenderloin, or any other cut you prefer)
  • 1.6 ounces (45 grams) of pork skin
  • 6.2 ounces (175 grams) of fish (Choose whichever kind you like best. Just make sure to choose a kind that is easy to cut into thin slices and easy to debone.)
  • 1.6 ounces (45 grams) of shrimp
  • 1.6 ounces (45 grams) of squid
  • 0.75 ounce (20 grams) of peanuts
  • 0.15 ounce (4 grams) of ginger
  • 0.15 ounce (4 grams) of green onion
  • a little bit of normal unsweetened milk (optional, helps to make the congee smoother)
  • 2 teaspoons of canola oil
  • salt


  • Rinse rice in cold water. Discard cloudy water. Repeat until water becomes clearer.
  • Mix rice, 0.6 cup (150 ml) of water, 2 teaspoons of canola oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl and let marinade for 3 hours (or overnight).
  • Add the 7.5 cups (1.8 liters) of water into a large pot and bring to a boil with high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the presoaked and marinaded rice from step 2 into the large pot along with the peanuts while stirring occasionally so that the rice does not stick to the bottom. Optionally, also add in a little milk as this helps to make the congee smoother. (the amount is up to you) Still with high heat, cook for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to a medium-low setting and continue cooking for 40 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally.
  • While waiting, cut the pork, pork skin, shrimp, and squid into small bite sized pieces. Then cut the fish into thin slices. Afterwards, dice the ginger and green onion.
  • After the 40 minutes in step 3, add the pork, pork skin, and shrimp into the pot and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Now add the squid and thin slices of fish in. Cook for 3 minutes.
  • Perform a taste test and season with additional salt if desired.
  • Serve piping hot or allow to cool slightly. Season with a sprinkle of ginger and green onions.
Bon Appétit!


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