Pao Fan


As a time-saving strategy, we’ve depended on the pao fan many times throughout the years.

For a quick and easy breakfast, lunch, or dinner, all you need are some salty side dishes and some cold leftovers from the fridge. Nothing is thrown away!

What is PAO FAN?

Rice and water are all that are needed to make pao fan. Reheating and stretching cooked leftover rice has never been easier.

Shanghainese households are particularly fond of it.

Congee, on the other hand, is made by simmering raw rice in stock.

Rice is cooked in a Teowchew porridge recipe in Chaozhou until each grain is barely cooked, starting with uncooked rice.

Despite its similarity to Cantonese style congee in texture, it differs from pao fan because of the addition of richer broth and additional ingredients like seafood to create a more savory soup.


The hard, cold rice you neglected in the back of the fridge, or the random variety of leftovers you have at the end of the week, can be used up in a pao fan.

Also, you may not have enough plain rice to feed three people. You can feed three people with only enough rice if you prepare this pao fan!


This porridge, like congee, can be cooked to a thick and viscous consistency. Alternatively, if you like a thinner, waterier consistency, cook it only until it’s heated through.

Do not talk while eating your pao fan if you prefer it to be thin. Over the years, eating pao fan too quickly has caused many coughing fits.


  • 3 cups of leftover cooked white rice
  • 3-5 cups of water


  1. Add the cooked rice you have left over to a medium pot. 3 to 5 cups of water should be added to cover the rice completely. Less water should be added, and more time should be cooked if you prefer your pao fan thicker. Cook your pao fan for a shorter time and with additional water if you prefer it thin.
  2. When the pao fan is ready, simmer it for 5–10 minutes over medium heat, depending on your chosen consistency.
  3. The rice will be well boiled, and the water will be hot after only 5 minutes of cooking, but the grains will still be separate. The water will decrease, and the starches in the rice will break down if you cook it for an additional five to ten minutes, giving you a thicker consistency akin to congee.
  4. Serve with cold Chinese leftovers or any salty food you choose, such as fermented tofu, dace fish, or chili bamboo shoots.
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