Lemongrass Chicken Congee by
Chef Eric Merklein

After arriving at the University of Rochester and taking on recipe development responsibility for Douglass Dining Hall, Chef de Partie Eric Merklein jumped at the chance to add new, fresh and delicious dishes to the menu. As he was considering various recipes to add, Chef Eric thought back to the first time he experienced the bold flavor and rich texture of Lemongrass Chicken Congee. He knew this was one that the team would include.

Congee is a porridge made of jasmine rice that is cooked slowly for over an hour. The resulting texture is creamy and gives a warming sensation as it is eaten. Combining traditional flavors with contemporary ideas, the congee pairs perfectly with items such as sesame spinach, sautéed shiitake mushrooms, lemon grass marinated chicken, and a citrus-infused soy sauce.

Servings: 4


  • 6 ½ oz Jasmine Rice
  • 2 Quarts, 2 Cups Water & 1 Tablespoon water
  • 2 Teaspoon Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon & 4 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Fish Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Lime Juice
  • ¼ oz Brown Sugar
  • ½ Cup & ½ Teaspoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic
  • ¼ Teaspoon Turmeric
  • ¼ Teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 lb. Chicken Breast
  • 10 oz Spinach
  • 6 ½ oz Sliced Button Mushroom
  • ¼ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1 oz Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • ¾ Cup Orange Juice
  • 1/3 Cup Lemon Juice
  • ¼ Lime Juice
  • 12 Slices of Radish


  1. Combine the Coconut Milk, Lemongrass, 1 ½ teaspoon Olive Oil, Fish Sauce, Brown Sugar, Soy Sauce, Lime Juice, ½ Teaspoon Garlic, Turmeric, and Coriander. Whisk until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Toss chicken in marinade, place in shallow non-reactive pan, cover, refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight
  2. Rinse rice and drain. Combine water and rice and bring water to a boil. Give the rice a good stir and scrape the bottom to prevent sticking. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover half of the pot. Let rice simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes until the grains hae burst open and you have a thick congee.
  3. While Congee is cooking place ½ cup Soy Sauce, Honey, Orange Juice, Lemon Juice, Lime Juice and Honey in a small saucepot. Place heat on high and bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water in small bowl and whisk until combined. Remove soy sauce mixture from heat, whisk in cornstarch mixture, keep warm and set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, toss mushroom’s, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt & 1/8 teaspoon of pepper together in a bowl, place mushrooms on lined sheet tray and roast for 10 minutes or until browned nicely. Keep warm and set aside
  5. In saute pan set to medium high, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Place spinach and 1/8 teaspoon salt & pepper. Saute until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Drain, keep warm, and set aside.
  6. Place congee into bowl and top with Chicken, Spinach, Mushroom, 3 slices of Radish, and drizzle with Citrus infused Soy Sauce


Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving
Calories: 530

Total Fat: 18g (23% dv)
Saturated Fat: 4.5g (23% dv)
Trans Fat: 0g (0% dv)
Cholesterol: 75mg (25% dv)
Sodium: 1450mg (63% dv)
Total Carbohydrate: 59g (21% dv)
Dietary Fiber: 4g (14% dv)
Total Sugars: 14g
Added Sugars: 0g (0% dv)
Protein: 33g

Vitamin D: 0mcg (0% dv)
Calcium: 210mg (15% dv)
Iron: 4mg (20% dv)
Potassium: 413mg (8% dv)

The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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