• Rena

Food as Medicine: Rice Porridge


For thousands of years traditional Chinese medicine practitioners have emphasized the healing properties of foods. By eating according to the season we can help bring our body into harmony with nature. In autumn, our bodies start to prepare for winter and as the weather outside becomes more dry so does our bodies. Do you find that you are more susceptible to a dry cough, dry eyes or dry skin during this season? You can support your body during this season by promoting the production of body fluids when you eat nourishing and hydrating foods such as pears and pumpkins. The flavor associated with the season is pungent. The pungent flavor is thought to move or scatter qi. As cold and flu season is upon us it is important to eat pungent foods to help expel pathogens to the exterior when we start to feel sick. Garlic, cinnamon and ginger are all great pungent flavors.


Next time you are feeling under the weather come in for an immune-boosting acupuncture treatment and make yourself some of this pungent and hydrating congee (savory rice porridge).


1 piece fresh ginger

¼ cup sticky rice

2 ½ to 3 cups water

3 green onions, sliced into small pieces

Condiment options: rice vinegar, soy sauce, salt, sesame oil, shredded seaweed


Combine the ginger, sticky rice, and water in a medium-size pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered but with the lid slightly ajar, for 30-40 minutes, until the congee is a desired consistency. Add a little extra water if the congee is drying out or becoming too thick for your taste. Turn off heat and add in green onions to the congee. Season with condiments of your choice and serve warm. Makes 2-3 servings.


Recipe from Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen: Recipes from the East for Health, Healing and Long Life by Yuan Wang, Warren Sheir and Mika Ono.