Bubur ayam, is that magical bowl of rice porridge the orphan boy eats from a wise old street merchant that turns him into a prince! Coming to a theater near you, Porridge Boy!
I kid, but seriously this stuff is fantastical. You wouldn’t think a modest bowl of rice porridge could pack so much flavor, but it does. Tender chicken, fragrant spices, and a plethora of delightful toppings, all combine to take you on a tantalizing journey to flavor paradise. No movie ticket required.Jump to Recipe
“Porridge, congee, bubur, whatever! Just fill that bowl up and give it here!”-culturally INSENSITIVE man dying of hugner
What is Bubur Ayam or Chicken Rice Congee?
Some people eat oatmeal for breakfast. In Indonesia, A LOT of people eat Bubur Ayam for breakfast. They share a similar consistency, but Bubur Ayam isn’t like any oatmeal you’ve ever had before.
It’s a savory rice porridge slow cooked with aromatics and toasted spices, chicken broth, shredded chicken and then topped with a wide array of garnishes, such as spicy sambal, fried shallots, eggs, peanuts, sweet soy sauce, and lime wedges. Some people say the toppings are their favorite part.
It’s not only a breakfast dish though, while it is very popular in the morning, it’s not uncommon to see this dish served through out the day. We live in the American Pacific Northwest were it rains most of the year, and I personally love this dish on a chilly wet winter evening. There’s no wrong way to eat Bubur Ayam.
BUBUR AYAM RECIPE – INDONESIAN CHICKEN RICE CONGEE
Ingredients for Bubur Ayam
Here’s what you’ll need to make this Bubur Ayam recipe.
- Rice: For this bubur ayam recipe we use jasmine rice, but any long grain rice will work fine. Basmati is another good choice.
- Chicken Breast: Bone-in skinless is preferred, but boneless skinless is fine too. Thighs work well in this recipe as well. Just make sure to pick out the bones.
- Chicken Stock: Use 8 cups chicken stock or half stock and half water, depending on how bold of flavors you desire. We make a lot of turkey stock, especially after the holidays, and this recipe works great with turkey stock.
- Spices: This bubur ayam recipe is so flavorful. Especially once you add in the white pepper, ground coriander, and turmeric. The turmeric gives it a beautiful yellow hue and reminds me of eating Rice-A-Roni as a kid.
- Garnishes: Dealers choice here. Traditionally a lot of folks in Indonesia eat bubur ayam for breakfast, so they add things like sliced omelettes. We prefer to eat it for dinner however and prefer to top it off with lime wedges, fried shallots, cilantro, green onions, peanuts, and of course sambal.
How to Make Bubur Ayam (Chicken Rice Congee)
Follow these steps to make this Bubur Ayam recipe.
Step 1: Toast Aromatics & Bruise Lemongrass
Over medium heat, in a small skillet toast a cinnamon stick, star anise, and coriander seeds until fragrant, 1-2 mins. With the back of a chefs knife or a mortar, smash your lemongrass and garlic. Chop your shallots into quarters.
Combine the bruised lemongrass, smashed garlic, toasted spices, lime leaves, and bay leaves into a a cheesecloth. Tie it off with cooking twine and set aside.
Step 2: Combine Ingredients and Boil
Fill a Dutch oven or large sauce pot with the chicken stock. Add the Chicken and the cheesecloth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 mins.
Remove chicken and set aside to let it cool. Use an instant read thermometer to make sure the chicken has reach 165F in its thickest part. Discard the cheesecloth and its contents.
Step 4: Add Rice & Boil
Add a cup of rice to the liquid and bring back to a boil. Stir occasionally. As soon as you reach a boil reduce heat and simmer for 30-45mins. Cook the rice until it begins to dissolve into an oatmealish consistency.
Shred your chicken while you wait. Make sure to reserve some of the shredded chicken to top off the final dish.
Step 5: Season and Return Chicken
Once you have achieved your desired consistency, season the rice porridge with white pepper, turmeric, ground coriander, and sea salt.
Return most of the shredded chicken to the pot and stir to incorporate. Remember to save a bite of the shredded chicken as a garnish. Simmer for a few minutes to reheat the chicken.
Step 6: Garnish & Serve
Ladle the finished bubur ayam into separate bowls and garnish with your choice of lime wedges, peanuts, green onions, fried shallots, sweet soy sauce, or sambal. Enjoy!
Bubur Ayam Garnishes
Here’s a list of some popular garnishes to help top off this bubur ayam recipe.
- Shredded Chicken: Crisp up some of the shredded chicken when you’re frying your shallots, you gotta top this bubur ayam with some extra chicken. Consider it mandatory.
- Lime Wedges: Add a little lime juice or a lot, a pop of citrus is really nice in this dish. Sometimes I’ll even grate a little zest over the finished dish for extra zip.
- Hot Chili Peppers: Add more heat if you need it.
- Cilantro: Not a traditional bubur ayam garnish, but we think it works great.
- Peanuts: I am a peanut freak! I love them. My wife, not so much. Take the peanut or leave the peanut, the choice is yours.
- Sliced Omelette: A super traditional bubur ayam topping for those who like to start their day with some chicken and rice porridge.
- Sambal ljo Padang: We love this sambal, and paired with all the shredded chicken on top of the rice porridge, it reminds me of green chicken enchiladas. But by all means, use whatever Sambal you prefer.
- Sweet Soy Sauce: Just a dab will do.
- Fried Shallots: Store bought or homemade work fine. This one of my personal favorite garnishes for this bubur ayam recipe.
How to Store Bubur Ayam (Chicken Rice Congee)
To store your chicken and rice porridge properly and ensure it stays fresh and safe to eat, transfer the leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days. Or store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you’re planning on freezing it and have a bunch leftover, it’s a good idea to portion it out into smaller containers or bags so that you can thaw only what you need at a given time.
Reheating bubur ayam
It heats up super easy with a little bit of water in a non stick skillet or medium pot. Just heat it up slowly over medium heat and stir in a couple tablespoons of water to make sure the rice doesn’t dry out, stir frequently.
You can also microwave it in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring every 30 seconds until it is heated through.
More Congee Recipes!
Turkey Congee – a Recipe for the Soul: We like to use the broth and breasts from our leftover recipe for Mexican Turkey Recipe. It makes a super unique and flavorful congee. Let the savory rice porridge aroma fill your home and the rich flavors fill your bellies, and be sure to let us know what you think. Cheers!
Bubur Ayam FAQ’s
What is Bubur Ayam?
Indonesian Chicken and Rice Porridge.
Is Bubur Ayam Spicy?
No, traditionally it isn’t spicy on its own. But you certainly could make it spicy with enough sambal or chili peppers for toppings.
What are the best toppings for Bubur Ayam?
The best toppings are your favorite toppings. Some people think topping their chicken and rice porridge off is the best part of the whole experience. Standard toppings include lime wedges, sambal, fried shallots, and sliced omelette.