Eating a hot breakfast is a rarity in my world. It’s usually a cup of coffee and a banana (with a protein shake in hand) before I rush out the door with my toddler in tow. We do find time to make it a family affair on the weekends though, and for that I’m grateful.

Oats are versatile, we know this. But how many good savoury variations have you eaten? Not to mention one that’s easy to make, packs a good deal of flavour, and also gives you a solid amount of protein to start your day. This congee is all that and then some.

And like it hasn’t got enough going for it already, this oatmeal variation is so reminiscent of its rice counterpart (with just the oats-rice swap), that it makes it completely lunch/dinner-friendly too. Ready? Ready.

Add oats to a pressure cooker (or pot; pressure cooker is quicker). Add chicken drumsticks to the pot along with a bruised piece of ginger and a few whole spring onion stalks. Yes, no chopping. Crumble in a stock cube. Add enough water to cook the oats (exact measurements below). 

When the oats are cooked to a porridge consistency, remove the chicken, shred, and add back to the pot. Divide into bowls. Top with spring onions, chilli oil, soy, whatever else your heart desires. Pile it all up and tuck right in!

I use chicken drumsticks here because there’s so much flavour in the bones. As they cook with the oats, they remain succulent and their bones impart so much flavour into the congee – like a quick stock. Thighs would also work the same way here. (Breasts can dry out too much so I wouldn’t go there.) I have an excellent mushroom oatmeal congee on my site if you’re looking for a vegetarian swap.


Servings: 2 people


  • 3 chicken drumsticks
  • ¾ cup rolled or steel cut oats
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 spring onion stalks
  • 1 stock cube


  • Chilli oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Spring onion tops
  • Fresh ginger, cut into thin strips
  • Toasted sesame oil (optional)


  • Bruise the ginger with the flat of your knife. You want it bruised just enough to keep the piece mostly intact; we’ll be removing it later.
  • Add the oats to a pot or pressure cooker along with the chicken pieces. Throw in the bruised ginger and spring onions. Crumble in the stock cube.
  • Pour in 3 cups of water and cook in a pot or pressure cooker until the oats are cooked. (About 5-7 mins in a pressure cooker. Cook for longer in a pot adding more water if necessary.) You’re looking for a porridge consistency.
  • Remove the chicken pieces, shred the meat, and add back to the pot. Remove and discard the spring onions and ginger. Check and adjust seasoning. Add salt if necessary.
  • To serve, divide into bowls and top with spring onion greens, chilli oil, soy, whatever else.


You can swap out 3 chicken drumsticks for 2 bone-in thighs.

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