Recipe: how to cook Chinese food, Laba Congee

Laba Congee is a congee made with a variety of ingredients in the Laba Festival of China. In ancient time, on the eighth day of December in the lunar calendar, the custom of eating Laba Congee celebrated the harvest, which has been passed down to the present day. In Henan, it is called da jia fan, which is a kind of festival food to commemorate the national hero Yue Fei.

From the pre-Qin period, Laba Festival was to worship ancestors and gods, to pray harvest and being auspicious. The custom has been very popular in the Song Dynasty. On the day, the court, the government, temples and folks, they all cooked Laba Congee. In the Qing Dynasty, the custom was more prosperous. In the court, the emperors, the empresses, the emperors, etc. awarded Laba Congee to ministers and servants of the palaces. They also distributed rice, fruits and other things to monks. Among the folk, every family cooked it to sacrifice their ancestors. At the same time, the family got together to eat Laba Congee and gifted to relatives and friends.

The ingredients of Laba Congee vary depending on the local products. It can be said Beijing Laba Congee is the most particular. There are many things mixed with rice, such as Chinese date, lotus seeds, walnuts, chestnuts, almonds, pine nuts, longan, raisins, ginkgo nuts, red beans, peanuts, shredded dry green apricots, candied rose, etc. , not less than 20 kinds of ingredients. People begin to washing rice, soaking fruit, peeling and removing pits on the evening of the seventh day of December in the lunar calendar, and poach it in the middle of the night until next morning, the Laba Congee is ready.

Normally, people won’t cook it overnight and use too many ingredients. They only cost around 2 hours to make it. Some people cook eight ingredients for simple.


  • 50g black rice
  • 50g glutinous rice
  • 30g barley
  • 30g kidney bean
  • 30g red bean
  • 30g mung bean
  • 5 Chinese date
  • 10 lotus seeds
  • 15 peanuts
  • 5 longan
  • water (if you like thick, you could add less water; if you like thin, add more water)
  • rock sugar (optional) according to your taste

You could adjust the type and quantity of ingredients as you prefer.


Step 1: remove the lotus seed core and the date pit.

Step 2: put all ingredients in a slow cooker, rice cooker or pot, add water. you could soak for 30 minutes before cooking.

Step 3: poach at least 2 hours until it is soft and thick. DONE❕


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