Iconic Hong Kong Porridge–Sampan or Boat Congee (香港艇仔粥)



Hong Kong Boat or Sampan porridge is not supposed to be a luxurious version of porridge ..。。 It is supposed to be a humble  down to earth porridge that was served by family who lives in the boats in Hong Kong. It has been popularized in Hong Kong and Guangzhou and become a fast food item for those who are looking for a quick serving of porridge. There is a plain porridge based and the side ingredients being served apparently is based on what is available at the time of serving. As this porridge originated from the inhabitants in the boat, it is logically that most ingredients are seafood though there are also beef and pork.


The porridge that I have eaten in Hong Kong when I stay there donkey years ago are rather miserable.. What I can recalled is only the cuttlefish,  peanuts and some minced meat type of ingredients that I am not aware of what it is. The porridge are rather watery and chopped spring onion was sprinkled on top of the watery congee..


However, when I goggled for an authentic recipe, it seems that the traditional recipe have much more ingredients that what I have eaten.. I posted In Hong Kong Food group and i was told that currently what is being sold is very basic and most of the ingredients in this recipe have disappeared over the years. and my post have brought them down the memory in the good old days..


The recipe shared here are rather complete and compiled from many recipes and those ingredients that appeared in  only one or two recipes will not be included .Among the items that was not included are roast duck or roast goose, jellyfish stripes, minced beef and etc.. Apparently, these were ever being included too as confirmed by a Hong Kong member.. The more common ingredients now are cuttlefish, peanuts, pigskin , some meat ..


For this recipe, I am unable to give you the exact quantities in the recipe as there are too much variation. As for home cooking, you can choose the ingredients that you liked and add or minus the quantities. I definitely will not cook in such a grand scale for this humble porridge if not because it was for this recipe sharing. The preparation flow will very much on what you used and the times you have.. I did my preparation that suits my work this morning and believing that it is the easiest and fastest.


As per China Daily, it was written that :

“Sampan porridge is a traditional rice-based dish, unique to Guangzhou and with a long and colourful history. As one of the most popular Cantonese snacks, it is popular for its fresh and sweet taste. It is commonly known as Tingzai Zhou in Guangzhou because the soup is served on sampans that plied Liwan Lake on the western outskirts of the city and its fresh taste is imbued with the spirit of the water villages of southern China.In the past, Litchi Bay in the western suburb of Guangzhou was a popular gathering place for men of letters and refined scholars at dusk in summer. While cruising the river, they were served with Sampan porridge (literally Boat Porridge) prepared on dedicated boats. The owners of the boats delivered bowls upon bowls of Sampan porridge on the shore and to tourist boats on the river. Over the time Sampan Porridge has become the most famous porridge in Xiguan.” (Source: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/sports/guangzhoufood/2010-11/08/content_11517762.htm)





Servings: 5-6 adult servings


  • A small pig maw, cooked (熟猪肚)
  • 1 pork big bone (猪大骨)
  • One piece of pigskin (油炸猪皮)
  • Some soaked cuttlefish, sliced into small pieces (鱿鱼切小块)*
  • Some thinly sliced fish fillet (鱼片)*
  • Some deep fried peanuts (油炸花生)*
  • Some thinly sliced pork fillet (肉片)
  • A small bundle of rice vermicelli (炸米粉丝)
  • 2 sticks of you tiao (油条)*
  • few sprigs of spring onion (青葱)*
  • 2-3 eggs (鸡蛋)
  • 2 cm of ginger (姜)*
  • Pinches of salt (盐巴)*
  • Dashes of white pepper(胡椒粉) *
  • Chicken stock (鸡精块)*
  • 1-2 cups of rice (白米)*

*  Recommended to have



PicMonkey Collage1

  • In a pot of water, put the deep fried pigskin and cooked until soft. It will took about 10-15 minutes. Dish and cut into small pieces.

  • Use the same pot of water, put the cuttlefish , blanch in the water for 2-3 minutes. Drained and set aside.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • Use the same pot of water, put the fish slices, blanch for 1-2 minutes. Drain and set aside . If your fish is very thinly sliced, you can put the fish slices in the bowl and pour the hot porridge on top. If this is the case, this step is not necessary.

  • Use the same pot of water, put the meat slices, branch for 3-4 minutes . Drain and set aside. Keep the meat juices.

  • In a pan, put some oil and deep fried the rice vermicelli or beehoon until crispy. In hot oil, this may take  less than one minute. Drain and set aside.

  • Take away the excess oil and leave one tablespoon of oil. Pan fried the egg omelette and cut into thin stripes.

  • Cut the you tiao into small pieces, chopped the spring onion and shred the ginger into thin stripes.

PicMonkey Collage3

  • Transfer the water to a bigger pot, put the pig maw (already cooked and sold by the stores) and pork big bone, bring to boil and let it simmer for about at least 20-30 minutes.. Add additional water to at least cover the bones if required.

  • Take out the big bone and pig maw, put rice and start cooking the porridge until the porridge is soft and the consistency that you are looking for.  When the rice grain is soft, use a ladle to grind the grain against the side of pot. For this illustration, it took me about 30 minutes to get the texture that I want.. Add seasonings (suggested: salt, dashes of white pepper, sesame oil and some chicken stock ).

  • For serving, have a bowl of hot porridge, sprinkle with some peanuts and chopped spring onion. Take a bit of each condiments and place on top of the bowl.Drizzle with additional sesame oil and white pepper if desired.  The porridge is best eaten piping hot.


  • The above is my flow of preparation, you can always planned ahead to design one flow that is most suitable to your preparation. You can also boil the porridge and prepare the side items concurrently.

  • No water volume is mentioned to cook the porridge. However, I usually for 1 cup of rice, I used 4-5 cups of water. You can start with less water and gradually add water along the way until the consistency that you are looking for.



When I shared recipe, I did my researches.. I will try to share with you as detail as far as I can within my capabilities. For Chinese recipes, I will revert back to Chinese website who is much more authentic for these traditional recipes.. While this look luxurious, you can but you may not need to have so many ingredients.. To simplify it further, it is just some seafood porridge characterized by the cuttlefish and peanuts.. All others are delicious but optional.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


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