Black rice jook, topped with bacon, a poached egg and Cholula hot sauce

In today’s Seasonal Pantry, which you can read here, I promised a post with links to archived recipes for jook and so here you go. This post is from April, 2011, when we had an intense mid-spring storm.

When the rains came, I was thrilled that I had already make jook, a thin rice porridge popular throughout Asia. The version in my frig was the result of an experiment. I had been testing some recipes using Forbidden Black Rice for an upcoming Seasonal Pantry column and because I had some left over, I decided to see what sort of jook it would make. The results were so very delicious. That night, I fried a strip of bacon, poached an egg (from the little flock of hens who live next door) and pulled my bottle of Cholula hot sauce off its high shelf. It was amazing and now that the rain has been pounding for three days and my new roof is leaking like a sieve, I’m really glad that there’s more in the frig.

Jook is not only delicious; it is comforting and restorative, in the way that homemade chicken soup is restorative. Certain counties in Asia, such as Thailand, claim it prevents hangovers; there are street stalls selling it in the middle of the night, when people are heading home from the bars.

To make jook, you don’t really need a recipe. The simplest method is to put about two-thirds of a cup of cooked rice into a pot, add about 3 cups homemade chicken stock and/or water and a pinch of salt and simmer gently until the mixture has become uniformly thick and the individual grains of rice have all but vanished. Ladle it into a soup bowl and top with something good, a poached egg, sauteed or smoked salmon, chicken, grilled asparagus, shredded pork and sauteed greens, fried shallots, even Dungeness crab. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, a dash of toasted sesame oil, a shake or two of your favorite hot sauce or maybe just some red pepper flakes.

These more detailed recipes are from the Seasonal Pantry Archives.

Breakfast Jook (great any time of day) with Fried Shallots

Nina Simonds’ Rainbow Congee