San Byoke ( Burmese Congee )

2 hours


5 servings

San Byoke is Burmese rice porridge which is like Chinese congee. We eat it as comfort food on under the weather days. We also have this on winter cold days or in the night market in China Town and in some upper part of Burma as local daily food. According to my birth family, we always have this either on Sweet December Day or Christmas Day or on New Year Eve day. Recalling this family tradition, I realized how my family and relatives consider this food as our family comfort food and we perceive it as celebration food on a family occasion. Local people eat this food when they are not feeling well. For our family, this is one of our happy meals.

Sometimes, people cook this with overnight leftover rice which shortens the cooking time. And sometimes they just boil short-grain raw rice with a 1:2 ration of rice: water and cook a long time in the slow cooker. My tips would be to blend 2/3 of rice in a blender ahead of cooking to speed up your cooking time if you do have not much time to spend cooking. No matter what, the main point is to break down the rice to be a thick and smooth consistency of rice soup.

You can also serve your San Byoke with crispy onion oil or garlic oil to add flavor and color to your meal. And consider chilies oil if you are a fan of spicy flavor. Some people like to eat with fried dough or other fritters as well. I like to top with garnish like spring onion and parsley. My relatives love it with Shan mustard pickles.

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Adjust Servings
2 cups of Rice short grains are easier and faster to cook.
4-5 cups of Water
2 teaspoons of Salt
1 teaspoon of Black Pepper
1 big Onion
10 cloves of Garlic
A bit of sliced Ginger
A bit of chopped Spring Onion


Boil 5 cups of water until it gets bubbly boiled.
Mark as complete
Chop the Onion, crushed the garlic and ginger. Add all of them to the pot when water is bubbly boiled.
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Add 2 cups of rice to boil. You have to keep stirring and adjust the water through out the rice is cooking in pot to avoid rice sticking the pot below.
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You have to keep cooking until rice grains break down and thick consistency of rice soup happened.
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Add salt in between and sprinkle black pepper when rice started to break down.
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You top with chopped spring onion in bowl to serve.
You can add ingredients like soy sauce, more white/black pepper, chillies oil/paste, garlic oil/ onion oil and some crispy fries on top of your San Byoke.
Burmese do not put others vegetables and ingredients much while making this rice porridge in cooking stage but they do top with ingredients when serving traditionally. Some just enjoy this in simple way as comfort food.