6 servings

2 1/2 hours

Jook is soupy rice (look at the water-to-rice proportions here), with anything from fish head to chopped scallions and soy sauce. Conceptually, this may not sound that great, but in fact it's creamy and comforting - think of savory horchata. When it was first served to me I thought it miraculous — of course, it had a few more ingredients — and it turns out to be even better when made at home, where you can cook the rice in stock rather than water. It makes for a wonderful breakfast, and is especially comforting as the weather gets colder. The version pictured above is topped with sliced snow peas, fermented black beans, and chile oil, but a combo of scallions and sesame oil is simpler and equally delicious. 


1 ⁄ 2 cup short-grain rice
1 ⁄ 2 cup glutinous rice or more short-grain rice
2 cups chicken stock, or water
One 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 ⁄ 4 pound slab bacon, optional
1 ⁄ 4 cup minced scallion
1 ⁄ 4 cup minced crisp cooked bacon, optional
1 ⁄ 2 cup roasted peanuts, optional
Dark sesame oil for drizzling, optional


1. Wash the rices and put them in a stockpot with the stock or water. Place over high heat until the stock boils, then add about 1 quart water; bring to a boil and turn the heat to low.

2. Partially cover the pot and simmer for about 1 1 ⁄ 2 hours, stirring occasionally to make sure the rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add the gin- ger and the slab bacon if you’re using it and simmer for another hour. The jook should have a porridge-like consistency, so if it becomes very thick too quickly, turn down the heat and stir in more water. When it is done, the jook will be soupy and creamy.

3. Remove the slab bacon and serve the jook in individual bowls; garnish with scallion and, if you like, minced bacon and peanuts. Drizzle with sesame oil if desired.

Recipe from The Best Recipes in the World


Beans & GrainsMark Bittman