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Chinese Jook (Photo Attributed to Author: Ernesto Andrade)

Jook (Chinese Breakfast Porridge) Recipe-

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 cup uncooked short grain rice
  • 6 dried shitake mushrooms, rehydrated (you can use fresh, also)
  • 2″ piece of fresh ginger root, peeled, cut into 2 one inch pieces
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander (cilantro), long stems removed, leaves chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions (scallions)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 cheese cloth and kitchen string
  1. Take your green onions and cut the green parts away from the white parts. Finely dice the greens and leave the white parts whole.
  2. Rough chop one inch of your ginger root, and finely dice the other inch of ginger root.
  3. Place the chopped ginger, dried shitake mushrooms, a handful of the cilantro and the white ends of the scallion in the cheesecloth; tie the ingredients up tight with your cooking string. You will already be getting hungry, because this is a delightfully aromatic little bundle you are holding.
  4. Take your chicken and wash it thoroughly, inside and out.
  5. Next, place the bundled ingredients and the whole chicken into a large pot filled with water, and bring the water to boiling. As soon as a furious boil is achieved, turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight lid, and let the chicken cook for about 40 to 45 minutes.
  6. Now take the flavoring bundle and the chicken out of the pot and put the rice in the water, still maintaining a simmer. Keep water at a simmer, but now leave the lid off and cook for another 40 to 45 minutes. To ensure the rice will not get stuck on the pot’s bottom, stir the rice often.
  7. Now remove the chicken meat from the bones with a sharp knife and chop all the meat into bite-sized pieces.
  8. Open your flavoring bundle and take the shitake mushrooms out, then slice them into thin strips. You will not need the rest of the bundle ingredients, so you can simply toss them into the garbage.
  9. Heat you best fry pan with some sesame oil in it and get the oil sizzling hot. When a few droplets of water are tossed into the pan and they pop, snap and sizzle, it is ready. Now take your diced up ginger root and fry it until it is browned and crunchy. You will use this as a garnish.
  10. Your Jook is ready to eat once the rice grains are very plump and the overall texture is nice and thickened as a porridge.
  11. Once the Jook is done, remove it from the burner and add in the chicken pieces and sliced mushrooms. Stir well, until the pieces are fully blended and incorporated into the mixture.
  12. It’s time to serve your Jook! Place the rice porridge into a large serving bowl and garnish the top with the chopped cilantro, fried ginger, and diced scallions.

Remember, this is just one way, out of an infinitely long list of possibilities, to prepare this authentic Chinese Jook recipe. You could garnish with chili oil, tofu cubes, water chestnuts; you could use prawns or other seafood for the meat, and you can vary the spice/flavoring bundle more ways than you can shake a soup spoon at.

So try this recipe first, and then let your adventurous ethnic food loving mind wander off to all the many yummy places this basic Jook recipe can take you!