Congee and noodle are uniq food style in China like sushi in Japan, even though I know there are some noodle type such as pasta in Italy, I think China have the most varieties.
I like to talk about the congee and noodle , because I got home feeling when I have them, congee and noodle have different cooking way in every Chinese regions,
Porridge is often an alternative word for congee, but what I can understand for porridge is the blending of the oatmeal or cereal with milk or yogurt , so porridge is still kind of western food style, I think. congee, also know as rice soup, can be simply cooked with boiled water, it is a kind of low energy or calorie food, which is suitable for Asian people, sometimes, coupled with some side dish such as salted or pickled vegetable, it is very delicious whatever for lunch or breakfast.
Well, for non Chinese people this kind of congee is kind of boring, so if you want to have a try, just find a congee store offering the versatile congee type, for example the HongZhuangYuan congee restaurant (http://www.hongzhuangyuan.com), the name literally means “Red Top One”, and famous for their kinds of congee.
As I can figure, all the congee type from this restaurant is sourced from GuangDong cuisine, check out some ‘upgraded’ congee/rice soup.
Figure:preserved egg congee (congee with pork strip and preserved egg), this is the most popular one in China, and KFC also offer this kind of congee in breakfast time.
Figure:Eight treasure congee (congee with all kind of beans, more than eight, such as jujube, red bean etc ), this is also a popular congee, you can put some sugar in it when you eat.
Figure:vegetable congee (blend with all kinds of smashed vegetable )
There are other good congees for people there, you can check it out by yourself when got chance.
I am not kidding, I think there should be more than 100 ways to cook noodle in China, I have only tried very few of them. The ingredients of Chinese noodle is different from the popular Italy pasta, and also the cooking way varies based on the regions.
I personally divided them into types of soup, fried and pasta like
you can have the soup type beef noodle in SuShi Beef Noodle which is not a very decent place but it is still good.
Map (search Sushi Beef Noodle or 苏氏牛肉面 in google or Baidu Map)
The fried noodle usually is offered in the Guangdong style restaurant such JinDingXuan(http://www.beijinghangout.com/where-to-have-a-breakfast/)
Pasta like style noodle is also offered in JinDingXuan, but also in most above averaged Chinese food restaurant
When I go abroad, what I can not bear with is the food, especial for the congee and noodle, my stomach was getting used to the congee already which basically can not be found in US or Europe restaurant.
PS, I think the cuisine in US is terrible, people does not really care about the food, burger can satisfy most of people, while European is much better.