12 December 2010

I heart juk

It happened.  As it inevitably does when the big deadline is over, when the school semester is over, when the adrenaline subsides.  Your body knows, it's okay to succumb to a cold now...well, my body knew it.  So I have been craving nothing but soup the past few days, and I knew it was time to pull out this recipe for juk (pronounced "jook"), a congee-like rice porridge that Koreans cook for loved ones when they are under the weather.

This is spoon-licking good, folks.  As the rice cooks, the starches are released and develop the most enticing velvety texture.  Shrimp bits stirred into the juk, as well as chopped green onion and flaky kim (seasoned pressed seaweed, similar to nori) sprinkled on top, give multiple layers of appetizing savoriness.

Easily digestible, warming, and nourishing, juk should definitely be on your short list of recipes for feeding friends and family when they are fighting an illness.  There is something wonderfully heartening about this nourishing porridge.  Hey look, this green onion is sharing the love!


But I'm telling you, once you taste this, you will soon start wanting this for breakfast.  Forget oatmeal--seriously!  To make juk, you will need to plan ahead a little, soaking the rice for at least two hours before cooking, but it's super easy to just set the rice to soak the night before and then you'll have it ready to go for a quick breakfast prep.


Korean Shrimp Porridge, Saewoojuk (새우죽)
Recipe from Maangchi, Serves 4

1 cup short-grained rice
1 Tbs. sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped raw shrimp
7 cups water
1 Tbs. fish sauce
1 tsp. salt
3 green onions, chopped
1 sheet roasted kim, crumbled

Place rice in a large bowl and wash rice in several changes of water, then cover with about 4 cups water and let soak two hours to overnight.  Drain rice thoroughly before proceeding.

Heat sesame oil over medium-high heat in a medium-large pot, then add the garlic, carrot, and shrimp and saute for about 30 seconds, stirring about to cook evenly.  Add the soaked, drained rice to the pot and continue stirring and sauteing for a few minutes.  Add 7 cups water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent bottom from burning.

Add fish sauce and salt, then taste and check seasoning and add more salt if desired.  Ladle juk into serving bowls and sprinkle with chopped green onions and crumbled kim.

To make this a more substantial meal, suggested accompaniments include kimchi and other other side dishes such as broiled fish, japchae, sigeumchi namul, and kongnamul muchim.


Anonymous said...

Great recipe, Erica! I've been to your blog before, but I followed you over this time from your comment on Kay's blog. I hope you have a joyful celebration of the birth of our Lord as well. =) That comment you made warmed my heart. I have all these spiritual sisters in the blogging world and every time I discover that connection I get so excited. =)

the Junkie book said...

your photographs are phenomenally good. why don't you share your recipes on foodbuzz so that they stand a chance for top 9 or sth like that.
and nicely written pre recipe jingle.
excellent recipe of course. who's going to wait to fall ill!

erica said...

Ah, thank you Thoma! I do submit my blog posts to Foodbuzz, but I suspect that they only choose photos that are in the "landscape" and not "portrait" orientation...and most of my recent submissions have been in the "portrait" orientation. :)

And yes, there is definitely no need to fall ill to enjoy juk! It is truly delicious any time!

The Church Cook said...

Koreans would say you have a "good flavorful hands"="손 맛 좋은". I am so impressed how you can cook up such authentic Korean foods! And your portrait oriented photos are wonderful.

Susan said...

I know that I would love this dish. I find a bowl of rice such a simple comfort ... often I am satisfied just adding a dollop of butter and caraway seeds ... this combination of ingredients, though, is perfection.

Anonymous said...

I love jook! We also call it jook in Cantonese. I never knew it was the same word in Korean. I often cook up a pot of jook at the start of the week and heat up a portion with extra additions each morning for breakfast until it is all gone. I find it really comforting and sticks to my ribs so that I don't have to think about food again until lunch time comes. I also use pork mince but shrimp is great to keep in the freezer too as it is free flow and I can just add a small handful of shrimp each morning to my portion.

Renée W. said...

This looks so good, cannot wait to make it!

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