When I was a kid, whenever my sisters and I started to get a flu or anything like that, my mom would whip up a batch of jok (an Asian rice porridge, also called congee) – the warmth & saltiness were always exactly what worked when we didn’t really feel like eating. So, since my mom hasn’t been feeling well this weekend and J has been craving some Asian comfort foods, I decided to make a batch. Seriously this is one of the easiest things to make in the world. Toss everything in a rice cooker, turn it on, and walk away. An hour or so later, like magic, this delicious, thick, savory one-pot meal is ready.
If you’re wanting something warm and comforting but more substantial than soup, or if you just want a no-brainer meal – I absolutely recommend that you try this! [Note: This is a great meal, even if it is 80 degrees outside. Apparently the Bay Area is experiencing summer part II.]
Salty-Savory Jok (aka Asian Rice Porridge)
Recipe by my mother with a few adjustments by me.
3/4 cup white rice (not quick cooking, and not uncle ben’s)
5 1/2 cups water
2 Tablespoons Knorr Chicken Flavored Bouillon powder (or you can use the cubes, you just want 2 Tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons Garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 large chicken breast, cut into cubes or strips, your choice [if frozen, make sure it is defrosted thoroughly]
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Cooking Sherry (or any dry white wine you have – nothing sweet though!)
Soy Sauce (optional)
Sesame Oil (optional)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper (optional)
Easiest directions in the world. Take everything that is not a garnish or the Cooking Sherry and pour it all into your rice cooker. Give it a little stir to dissolve the chicken bouillon. Turn on rice cooker. Walk away. Ok well don’t really walk away, as you will likely have some of the broth escaping from the top steam vent (beware, it will be hot!). Just let it splatter and figure you’ll clean it up afterwards, it’s not worth burning yourself. About 15 minutes into cooking, add the cooking sherry. Just open the lid, avoid getting hit in the face with steam, and pour in the sherry, giving a little stir to incorporate it into the rice. At this point, you should have a thick, rice pudding looking sort of concoction. Close the lid of your rice cooker and continue to let it cook until your rice cooker says it is done. It may not, depending on what type of rice cooker you have. After about 35 minutes of cooking, lift the lid and check if the chicken is cooked. At this point your rice may begin sticking to the bottom of the pan. Turn off your rice cooker, or turn it to the warming setting, and you’re ready to serve!
Serve in a bowl, with a spoon. If you are not making this for someone recovering from the flu, I recommend that you top the jok with about 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, a little bit of freshly ground black pepper, and a few pieces of kimchi. But these are definitely not required, as this is delicious without all of the garnishes.
I am now on my way to make another batch of this for J before I go to work. I hope you enjoy it as much as he does!
On an unrelated note – tomorrow is voting day! Be sure to go out and do your civic duty tomorrow! Then go treat yourself for being a productive citizen by getting an holiday drink at Starbucks! That’s my plan for tomorrow. Vote so I can go have a creme brulée latte afterwards! Teehee. Don’t judge my motivation! 😛
And on another unrelated note – everyone should run out and buy the Food Network Magazine for this month. THANKSGIVING RECIPES GALORE. OMG. I’m so excited to plan a Thanksgiving menu! What are some of your holiday favorites that pop up on every year’s menu?
Happy Monday Everyone!