#foodie-all – by Ellen Britt. Hey there…it’s Ellen, the Atlanta News and Talk Hometown Ambassador, back with more foodie talk.
Today I am experimenting with making “jook” or congee as it is also called. Jook is a Chinese long cooked rice porridge of sorts that cooked slowly for several hours with lots of water and is then served hot with your choice of toppings such as chopped boiled eggs, chopped green scallions, soy sauce, fried minced ginger or garlic and many other delectable things.
When I was in China a couple of decades ago to adopt my daughter, we were served jook every morning and I grew to love it. The babies in our group loved it too (without the toppings!) as it is so soft and easily digestible.
Here in the South growing up, my Mama used to make long cooked rice served with a generous pat of butter, which she would cook for us in the colder months. To my eight year old self, this was the most comforting food I can remember. Mama’s long cooked rice was very similar to jook but probably not cooked quite as long. Maybe that’s why I took an instant liking to jook the first time I tasted it in China!
Traditionally, many people make their jook with the addition of chicken or pork bones and usually add some shredded meat, but I like to keep mine plant based and I love to add a couple of good chunks of peeled fresh ginger root while the jook is cooking.
As the weather cools down here south of Atlanta, the thought of a steaming bowl of jook with my favorite toppings sounds really appealing. Let’s eat y’all…!