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Comforting Christmas Leftover Congee

Gather your loved ones around the table and serve this Comforting Christmas Leftover Congee. Soft and creamy rice porridge and leftover Christmas roast, contrasting against crispy potato nuggets, the easiest scallion oil, and fiery chilli crisp. Ready in under 30 minutes it the definition of bestovers

Leftovers congee

In the spirit of embracing the joy of the holiday season, the Christmas Leftover Congee offers a delightful and resourceful way to take those Christmas leftovers to a new level. With its harmonious blend of textures and flavours, this dish is not just a meal; it’s a celebration of the love and warmth that permeate Christmas.

The holiday season is a time of joy, laughter, and indulgence, and as we gather around the table to celebrate Christmas, the abundance of delicious food is a feast for both the eyes and the palate. While the main event may be the star-studded Christmas dinner, there’s something truly special about the days that follow. The pace and chaos of the festive period slows as the year draws to a close, one day blends into the next, and simple meals cobbled from leftovers take centre stage. Embark on a culinary journey that transforms your festive remnants into a soul-soothing masterpiece: Christmas Leftover Congee.

The Beauty of Congee

Congee, also known as rice porridge, has been a staple in Asian cuisines for centuries. Loved for its comforting and gentle nature, congee has the magical ability to turn humble ingredients into a heartwarming bowl of nourishment. The velvety texture of the porridge, coupled with its ability to showcase a medley of flavours, makes it the perfect canvas for reinventing your Christmas leftovers.

This Christmas Leftover Congee stretches the dregs of those leftover odds and ends and transforms your turkey carcass.  Combine it all with something crispy like leftover roast potatoes for a delightful twist or texture and flavour, finished with a zesty, like the easiest aromatic spring onion sizzle sauce and bring some warmth to that winter day with a drizzle of crunchy chili crisp. 

We start with the rice. Do not rinse the rice in this recipe as we want the starch! We’re using unwashed jasmine rice for a silky-smooth texture. Next, we add a festive crunch by crumbling the leftover roast potatoes into small chunks and roasting them in the oven or air fryer until golden and crisp.

Warm up your leftover turkey covered in stock or gravy to keep it moist and flavourful and shred it into bite-sized pieces. Whip up the spring onion sauce to infuse your congee with layers of aromatic goodness and set it aside until you’re ready to serve.

Leftovers congee

Assemble Your Comforting Christmas Leftover Congee Masterpiece

Season the congee to taste with salt and pepper or soy sauce. Then, ladle the warm, cooked rice porridge into bowls. Top it generously with the succulent shreds of turkey and the crispy potatoes. Drizzle the spring onion sauce over the top, allowing its fragrance to permeate the entire dish. Garnish your Comforting Christmas Leftover Congee with homemade or Lao Gan Ma chilli crisp and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro. Not only does this enhance the visual appeal, but it also adds an extra layer of crunch and contrasting flavour.

Enjoyed our Comforting Christmas Leftover Congee?

If you tried this Comforting Christmas Leftover Congee – please tell me about it! Leave me a comment and give this recipe a rating below, and remember to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with.

If you need some festive inspiration that will give you the necessary leftovers for this recipe (maybe), try these:

The Quickest, Juciest Turkey 

The Best Roast Potatoes with Garlic, Sage, and Lemon Butter 

The Best Homemade Gravy

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this gluten-free?

This recipe is already gluten-free!

Can I make this vegan?

You can easily make this recipe vegan with your vegan leftovers and using a vegetable stock.

What is a congee?

Congee is a type of savoury rice porridge that has been a staple in Asian cuisines for centuries. It is made by slow-cooking rice in a large amount of water or broth until it breaks down and becomes a thick, creamy porridge. Congee is known for its comforting and mild flavour, making it a versatile dish that can be enjoyed plain or with various toppings and accompaniments.

The simplicity of congee allows it to serve as a blank canvas for various flavours and textures. It is often seasoned with salt and can be topped with ingredients such as shredded meats (chicken, pork, or turkey), vegetables, herbs, and sauces to create a more complex and flavourful dish. Congee is not only a popular comfort food but is also commonly consumed as a nourishing and easily digestible meal, especially during times of illness or recovery.

Overall, congee embodies the essence of comfort and warmth, making it a beloved dish in many cultures across Asia and beyond.

Why do you usually rinse rice when cooking?

Rinsing rice before cooking is a common practice and is done for several reasons:

  • Removes Excess Starch: Rice grains contain a certain amount of surface starch that can make the cooked rice sticky or gummy. Rinsing helps remove this excess starch, resulting in fluffier and separate grains.
  • Reduces Stickiness: Rinsing also prevents the rice from becoming overly sticky during cooking. This is particularly important for dishes where you want distinct, separate grains, such as pilafs.
  • Improves Texture: Rinsing rice can contribute to a better texture in the cooked rice. It helps prevent clumping and ensures that the grains remain light and fluffy.

However, for our Comforting Christmas Leftover Congee, we want the stickiness and clumping to create a comforting porridge.


What is chilli crisp?

Chili crisp, also known as “crispy chili oil” or “spicy chili crisp,” is a popular condiment known for its spicy, crunchy, and flavourful profile. It typically consists of various ingredients such as red chili flakes, garlic, onion, Sichuan peppercorns, and sometimes shallots, ginger, or fermented soybeans.

The preparation method can vary, but it often involves frying these ingredients in oil until they become crispy and aromatic. The result is a rich, complex, and spicy flavour with a delightful crunchy texture.

Here are some key features of chili crisp:

  • Spiciness: Chili crisp is known for its heat, coming from the red chili flakes or whole dried chilies used in its preparation. The level of spiciness can vary, and some brands offer different heat levels to cater to different preferences.
  • Texture: What sets chili crisp apart from traditional chili oils is its crunchy texture. The crispy bits of garlic, onion, and other ingredients add a satisfying crunch to dishes.
  • Aromatics: Garlic, ginger, and sometimes shallots contribute aromatic notes to the condiment. Sichuan peppercorns may also be included, providing a numbing and tingling sensation, characteristic of Sichuan cuisine.
  • Versatility: Chili crisp is a versatile condiment that can be used in a variety of ways. It can be drizzled over noodles, rice, dumplings, stir-fries, soups, or any dish that could benefit from a spicy and flavourful kick.
  • Store-Bought and Homemade: While there are many commercially available brands of chili crisp, some people prefer to make their own at home to customise the ingredients and spice level.

Chili crisp has gained popularity globally, and its unique combination of heat, crunch, and complex flavours has made it a favorite among those who enjoy adding a spicy and flavorful element to their meals. 

Leftovers congee
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Leftovers congee

Comforting Christmas Leftover Congee

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  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Yield: 2 - 4 portions


Gather your loved ones around the table and serve this Comforting Christmas Leftover Congee. As you spoon into the creamy goodness, let the flavours dance on your palate, bringing back memories of the festive feast.


  • 1 cup unwashed jasmine rice
  • 12 cups water
  • 23 cups chicken stock or 1 cup leftover gravy

For the Spring Onion Sauce

  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 2cm knob ginger (about 1/2 tbsp), peeled and grated
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil or sunflower oil
  • Soy sauce to taste

For Serving:

  • 45 leftover roast potatoes
  • Leftover turkey
  • Chilli crisp (Lao Gan Ma or homemade)


Optional: Make your stock

  1. Home-made stock is a great frugal way to bring new life to your turkey carcass. Simply break the carcass down into smaller pieces, then cover the bones in water.
  2. Simmer on the stove for 4-6 hours on low heat, topping up the water as you go. Alternatively, use your pressure cooker, and pressure cook the bones and water for 1 hour at high pressure.
  3. Once cooked, strain off the bones and your stock is ready to use.

Make Congee

  1. Place the rice in the pot. Do not rinse the rice in this recipe, as we want the starch! Add 1-2 cups of water and 2-3 cups of chicken stock (or 1 cup of leftover gravy).
  2. Simmer the congee, topping up with water as needed. If using leftover gravy, you will need a little more water as gravy is usually thickened.

Prepare Roast Potatoes

  1. While the congee cooks, crumble the leftover roast potatoes into small chunks.
  2. In the air fryer: Cook the potato chunks at 180°C until golden and crisp.
  3. In the oven: Cook the potato chunks at 190°C until golden and crisp.

Warm the Turkey

  1. Warm the leftover turkey in the oven or microwave, covered in stock or gravy to keep it moist.

Make Spring Onion Sauce

  1. Finely chop 2 spring onions and finely grate 1 peeled 2cm knob of ginger (this will yield about 1Tbs of fresh grated ginger).
  2. Heat 3 tbsp of rapeseed oil or sunflower oil until hot, then pour it over the chopped spring onions and grated ginger. Season to taste with soy sauce and set aside.

Season and Plate

  1. Season the congee to taste with salt and pepper or soy sauce.
  2. Plate the congee, top with warmed turkey, drizzle spring onion sauce over, add chilli crisp, and garnish with crispy potatoes.

Enjoy your delicious Christmas Leftover Congee, featuring a comforting bowl of rice porridge topped with flavorful turkey, crispy potatoes, and a zesty spring onion sauce!

  • Category: Mains
  • Cuisine: Asian
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