Jook, the blandest food you’ll ever love. Not the most enticing first line we’ve ever written on a Garden Candy post, but it’s true. Jook, alone, is pretty bland. And you’re still going to love it.
As a rice version of congee, Jook is a staple comfort food throughout southern Asia. Inexpensive and flexible in its ingredients (like a lot of authentic Chinese foods), it’s a real asset in your arsenal especially since: it can be served at any time of day: breakfast, lunch, or dinner; the ingredients can be adapted to what you have leftover; and it can be served to everyone, babies on up.
This recipe is immensely adaptable. For example, don’t have any stock on hand? Use all water. Have stock you want to use up? Use 9 cups of stock and no water. Leave out the turkey, or replace it with chicken or seafood. Use vegetable stock and root vegetables instead, bingo, it’s a vegetarian meal.
Modify the ingredients all you want as long as you’re reasonably true to the ratios of liquid to solids.
It’s the flexibility that makes it perfect for using up leftovers from larger meals, like Thanksgiving turkey. Be adventurous. Get creative. This filling dish will feed an army, and will save the day, probably more than once.
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 4 cups turkey stock, (or vegetable broth, or water)
- 5 cups water
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, sliced
- 1-2 cups shredded turkey meat (removed from carcass while making stock)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2″ knob of ginger, sliced
- 2 scallions, trimmed and cut in half
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
- In a large pot, add the rice, broth, water, salt, garlic, ginger, 1/2 cup of turkey, carrots, celery and scallions.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower to a simmer.
- Let simmer for 1 hour, stirring every fifteen minutes.
- Add remaining turkey meat.
- Simmer another 30 minutes until rice breaks down into a thick porridge.
- Stir in soy sauce and sesame oil. (optional)
- Remove the whole scallions and ginger slices.
- Spoon congee into individual serving bowls and drizzle with sesame oil and soy sauce.
- Add a small dot of spicy chili sauce if you like a little kick.
Each person is free to add the garnishes they like to their bowls. Garnish ingredients might include:
- chopped green onion
- minced fresh parsley or cilantro
- peeled ginger root, julienne sliced
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil