Friday, 6 May 2011

Juk - the ultimate sunshine food!

Juk (粥) is the cantonese name for a type of rice porridge.  It is something that my family always have at home and is the perfect thing to have for lunch (or even breakfast, if you have time for it!)  You can have it as a main or side dish, served alongside dumplings, dimsum and noodles. 

A bowl of juk, served with a fried cruller 

It is also something you can have on an off-day.  Plain juk on its own is well-known to be kind to the stomach and is full of nutrients.  Asia's answer to chicken soup, you can say!  

To make juk at home, you will need a cooker (better still, a rice cooker) that has a 'congee' setting.  At home we find that American long grain rice is best for this.  Normally the rice has to be soaked in water overnight to soften the rice in preparation.  However, my genius mother has found that by putting the freshly washed rice  in a blender, you can skip this step.  You then put the rice in the cooker, with many times its weight of water and press the button.  Hey presto! Steaming hot Juk!

A (very fancy!) rice cooker with a congee setting

Being at home a couple of months ago we were out in Liverpool's St. Johns Market.  We bought pork mince, and pig innards (liver, stomach and kidneys) and made Pig innards juk (猪杂粥 - jeu-jap-juk).  The pork, that had been rolled into meat balls and cooked within the juk, was moist and tender.  The pieces of liver, kidney and stomach were treated with rice wine, salt and ginger before being added.  These were tender, smooth and melt-in-the-mouth, and with the pork added a nicely rounded meaty taste to the juk.  The steaming juk, made aromatic by the wine and ginger, with spring onions to garnish and served with cruller (油炸yow jaa gwuy) home made dim sum made a wonderful healthy and delicious lunch.  A lunch made even more special that it was made and had amongst family.






Adam Chan-Siu Lung said...

Ai-ya! Doesn't anyone use the stove to cook rice anymore? Nice blog, btw.

Chicki peckpeck said...

Thank you very much! You are very kind! :)