When I’m feeling a little under the weather or just need something warm and comforting, sizzling rice soup totally hits the spot. This soothing Chinese porridge is the ultimate feel-better food!
Sizzling rice soup, also known as Chinese rice soup or xi fan, features tender rice simmered in savory chicken broth until it breaks down into a creamy, porridge-like texture. It’s often garnished with chopped scallions, cilantro and crispy garlic chips for texture and flavor contrast.
This soup may sound simple, but it’s hugely satisfying and versatile. In this post, I’ll share my easy homemade sizzling rice soup recipe along with countless ways to adapt it by mixing in your favorite ingredients.
I’ll also cover how to tweak broth flavors, fun topping ideas, and pro tips for nailing the perfect soup texture. Grab a spoon and let’s get simmering!
Sizzling Rice Soup In Simple StepsCourse: SoupsCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Medium
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s involved in making this comforting Chinese staple:
Ingredients You’ll Need
4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 cup long grain white rice
2 tbsp cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, minced
2 scallions, chopped
1 tbsp soy sauce or oyster sauce
Salt and white pepper
Garnishes: scallions, cilantro, crispy garlic, chili oil
- Prepare the broth – Start with 4 cups of your favorite broth – chicken is traditional, but vegetable or pork work too. I love making my own to control flavors.
- Toast the rice – Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add 1/2 cup rice and toast, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Simmer the toasted rice in broth – Add toasted rice to broth in a pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 60 minutes until rice breaks down into a porridge.
- Season and add protein/veg – Once thickened, stir in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, scallions, and any other mix-ins. Simmer 5 minutes more.
- Serve garnished – Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with scallions, cilantro, fried garlic, chili crisp, etc.
The longer you simmer, the thicker it gets. Taste and adjust seasoning along the way.
4 servings per container
- Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 0.5g 3%
- Cholesterol 5mg 2%
- Sodium 750mg 32%
- Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
- Potassium 5mg 1%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Broth Flavor Variations
While chicken broth is traditional, you can use different broths in this soup:
- Vegetable broth – For a lighter, vegetarian version
- Pork broth – Made from pork bones adds richer flavor
- Mushroom broth – Adds depth of flavor, use part mushrooms
- Seafood broth – Made from shrimp shells or fish bones
- Beef bone broth – Heartier with beefy notes
Experiment with broths to find your favorite flavor profile for this soup.
Protein and Vegetable Mix-In Ideas
While totally delicious on its own, sizzling rice soup begs to be loaded up with add-ins. Get creative with mix-ins like:
- Shredded rotisserie or roasted chicken
- Cooked shrimp, squid, or scallops
- Thinly sliced pork or beef
- Fried or scrambled eggs
- Tofu or edamame
- Bean sprouts, sliced mushrooms, snow peas
- Shredded cabbage, bok choy, spinach
- Corn, carrots, zucchini
- Sliced water chestnuts or bamboo shoots
Play around with proteins and veggies until you strike the perfect flavor balance for your bowl of sizzling rice soup.
Topping and Garnish Ideas
No bowl of sizzling rice soup is complete without a few crunchy, flavorful toppings. Have fun with mix-ins like:
- Sliced scallions and cilantro
- Fried garlic chips or crispy fried shallots
- Chili crisp or chili oil
- Lime wedges
- Crumbled pork rinds
- Chopped peanuts or cashews
- Shredded cheese
- Hot sauce or sriracha
Pile on an array ofcontrasting textures and flavors to take this soup over the top.
Cooking Tips for Perfect Sizzling Rice Soup
Here are some handy tips and tricks for nailing sizzling rice soup at home:
- Use short or medium grain rice – Long grain doesn’t break down as well. Sweet rice or sushi rice are ideal.
- Toast the rice thoroughly – This boosts the nutty flavor tremendously.
- Simmer uncovered – This allows the broth to slowly reduce and thicken.
- Stir frequently – This helps evenly break down the rice and prevent sticking or burning.
- Don’t rush it! – A full 60-90 minutes simmering time is ideal for maximum creaminess.
- Add more broth – If soup gets too thick, thin it out with additional hot broth.
Patience and frequent stirring are key for the signature texture of sizzling rice soup.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
To save leftovers:
- Allow soup to cool completely before transferring to airtight containers.
- Keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.
- Can also be frozen for 2-3 months – thaw before reheating.
- On the stovetop over medium, adding more broth to thin if needed.
- Or in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between.
With proper storage, leftovers retain the fabulous texture and flavors.
FAQs About Sizzling Rice Soup
What’s the difference between congee and sizzling rice soup?
Congee uses more water, cooking into a very thick, porridge-like consistency. Sizzling rice soup has more broth and a looser texture.
Do you have to toast the rice?
It’s highly recommended! Toasting adds incredible nutty flavor. But if you need to skip it, increase broth simmer time.
Can you use brown rice instead of white?
It’s not traditional, but you can try subbing a portion of the white rice with brown. Just increase cooking time.
Is sizzling rice soup gluten free?
Yes, as long as you use a gluten-free broth and tamari instead of soy sauce. Toasting in separate skillet prevents cross-contamination.
Can you add rice halfway through?
Yes! Either add all the rice at once, or add half at the beginning and the remainder later on for varied texture.
The Soothing Verdict
I hope this post has inspired you to get simmering up delicious bowls of sizzling rice soup at home. It’s my absolute favorite way to warm up and also customize with my favorite ingredients.
Let me know if you have any other questions, and share your favorite sizzling rice soup variations. Now who’s ready for a hot bowl of cozy, creamy comfort?