When I first pursued my degree in Chinese Medicine many of my soon to be colleagues kept raving about how amazing this Jook stuff was. Like really, how great could boiled down white rice actually be? Well turns out it's pretty darn special.
Congee, Kanji, Jook or Juk is a type of rice porridge consumed in many Asian countries. It's traditionally served for breakfast but it's often eaten for dinner as well. Most people regardless of health status eat Jook but since it's thought to be easy to digest it's served to infants, the ill and the elderly. On it's own it tastes rather bland but depending on the context it is served with a combination of meat, vegetables, milk and herbs.
Each country has their own unique cooking and preparation methods. Jook is traditionally cooked on the stovetop, but it can also be made in a rice cooker or slow cooker. When cooking over the stove it needs to be cared for and constantly stirred to prevent the bottom from burning. For connivence I use my slow cooker so I don't have to keep an eye on it. I just add all my ingredients and check on it 4 - 5 hours later to make sure it's done.
The ratio of water to rice will dictate how thick your Jook is. Typically if you want thin Jook 13 cups of water to 1 cup of rice is used. For medium it's 10:1, for thick it's 8:1. This recipe calls for medium 10:1, but I encourage you to experiment with the ratio to come up with the consistency you like the best.
- 1 cup of rice (I use white Jasmine rice)
- 10 cups of filtered water
- 4 chicken thighs, bone in, skin removed
- 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger cut into slices, plus 1 tablespoon ginger cut into thin matchsticks
- Salt to taste (I typically add 1 tablespoon of sea salt)
- White pepper
- Green onion
- Poached eggs
Wash your rice! This is a step often left out in Western countries but in Asia washing the rice is common. We want to rinse off any debris and extra starch so keep washing and swirling it around until the water runs clear.
The water becomes white and murky like the picture below.
It's ready when the water is clear. Drain the water.
Next add your bone in chicken thighs, washed rice, salt, a tablespoon of sliced ginger and 10 cups of filtered water to the slow cooker and cook for 4 - 5 hours.
You will know it's done when the rice is broken down into a somewhat thick porridge and the chicken is cooked through and falls off the bone.
You can eat it alone like this or...
Add chopped green onion, cilantro, white pepper, ginger and a poached egg.
How do you cook your Jook? Did you try this recipe? If so, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. Enjoy!