brown rice jook

Courtney Takabayashi
November 28, 2023
food

No matter what you call it – jook, congee, or that stuff mom makes when you’re sick – rice porridge is comforting and delicious. While you can make it with turkey bones (especially since Thanksgiving was just last week), I use rotisserie chicken bones. I also use brown rice, which is more nutrient dense than white rice.

Here’s a basic recipe with suggestions for add-ins. Feel free to experiment and make it your own! I like to make jook in an electric pressure cooker since it’s set-and-forget, but I include instructions for stove top and slow cooker preparation. 

BROWN RICE JOOK
When it comes to this recipe, customization is key. I like the taste of brown jasmine rice, but you could use brown or white long-grain, short-grain, jasmiune, or basmati rice. I use a cheesecloth bag (also known as a soup sock) to keep the bones and anything else I add separate, but you can strain the jook or remove bones with tongs or a slotted spoon.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • Rotisserie chicken carcass
  • Vegetable peelings (optional)
  • Water
  • 2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider or other vinegar (optional)
  • Rotisserie chicken meat, shredded
  • Salt to taste

Notes
Cups:
While the little cup that comes with rice cookers holds 3/4 cup (6 ounces), I use a regular 8 ounce measuring cup.

Vegetable peelings: Whenever I cook with carrots, celery, or onions, I throw the peelings, skin, or parts I don’t use into a container or zip top bag and store it in the freezer. When it’s time to make jook or broth, I toss a handful of peelings into the soup sock for added flavor.

Chicken bouillon: Some people find the taste of chicken bouillon “artificial,” so you can use half water, half chicken broth instead.

Apple cider vinegar: I usually use apple cider vinegar when making bone broth. Adding acid helps break down the cartilage and other connective tissues in the bones, which speeds up the formation of gelatin in the stock, making the results nice and rich. Also, acid helps extract more nutrients from the bones. To me, adding just a tablespoon doesn’t affect the taste of the jook, but some people are sensitive to vinegar, so it’s OK to leave it out.

Toppings

  • Sliced bamboo shoots
  • Crispy garlic
  • Fish sauce
  • Fried shallots
  • Grated ginger
  • Chopped green onion
  • Chopped Chinese parsley
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • Shoyu
  • Soft-boiled egg
  • Youtiao (Chinese donut)
  • Chopped chung choy (Chinese salted turnip)

Instructions
Electric pressure cooker
Add rice to inner pot of electric pressure cooker. Rinse with water until water is clear. Place trivet in pot then top with soup sock or chicken bones. Add enough water to cover the chicken bones, about 5 to 7 cups, and vinegar.

Close lid and make sure that the valve is in sealing position. Pressure cook on high 1 hour. I’ve seen people cook it for as little as 15 minutes and as long as 2 hours, so it depends on how mushy you want your rice. The longer you cook it, the mushier it gets!

Natural release the pressure (i.e., wait for pot to depressurize instead of opening the valve) and open lid. Add chicken and salt to taste. Put the lid back on and let chicken warm for a few minutes. Once the chicken is warm, scoop into bowls and add desired toppings. Enjoy!

Stovetop
Rinse rice and add to a large saucepan. Add chicken bones, bouillon, and apple cider vinegar. Cover with water. Cook over medium-high heat until it almost comes to a boil. Turn heat to low and partially cover pot (leave about an inch for steam to escape). Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you notice the jook getting too thick, add water or chicken broth.

Add chicken and salt to taste. Once chicken is warm, scoop into bowls and add desired toppings.

Slow cooker
Rinse rice until water is clear. Add chicken bones, bouillon, and apple cider vinegar. Cover with water and cook on high 4 hours or low for 8 hours. An hour before the jook is finished, add shredded chicken. Once chicken is warm, serve and enjoy! 

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