• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
gus_tatory

Congee

191 posts in this topic

That's Yee Sang Jook. My dad's favorite, but I've yet to get past my fear of raw fish, though I know it's not really raw already.

Is it possible? - to have raw fish on top of jook. Jook is usually served boiling hot. And the moment you add some raw fish slices in it, the fish will become cooked, won't they?


W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's Yee Sang Jook. My dad's favorite, but I've yet to get past my fear of raw fish, though I know it's not really raw already.

Is it possible? - to have raw fish on top of jook. Jook is usually served boiling hot. And the moment you add some raw fish slices in it, the fish will become cooked, won't they?

You see, they don't serve it like that here.

They give you the porridge in a bowl, and the fish on a separate plate. And if you're eating at the market (where the good porridge usually is), it's self-serve, so it's not really boiling hot by the time you manage to find your seat again.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ooh...duck jook is my favorite (is anyone surprised?).  My mom used to get duck heads and make them into jook.  :wub: I usually just make jook from whatever bones are in the freezer.

Be careful! I am seeing a Hannibal Lecter in the becoming in the ducks' world! :laugh:

:laugh: (heh-heh Good evening, Clarice)

About 1/3 of my freezer is fodder for soup stock (bones, shrimp shells, even a lobster carcass). In restaurants, I've been known to ask for a doggy bag for my bones...and I don't have a dog.


Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SheenaGreena:

oh and phage, hobak juk is the way to go! My mother used to buy packets of it from the tea section of the grocery store and it would taste good even then. It was more of a gruel, but it tasted like candy...so good!

The term "gruel" is not allowed at this time. :wink:

Why not - isn't it a grueling experience, cooking the rice so long and trying to keep it from burning....

-- Phage


Gac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect that what I'm about to ask is painfully basic for those knowledgeable in Chinese cooking, but here goes. I just made a fish congee, the recipe for which directed that the fish be marinated with salt, pepper, a dash of sesame oil and a pinch of cornstarch. What is the function of the cornstarch here?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diana - in the chinese restaurants that I've been to in the Philippines, the fish is lightly deep fried so that it takes a slightly crispy coating. Then again, some just steam the fish.


Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, my question wasn't very clear. After the marination, the fish was just added to the congee, which is what confused me. I mean, the congee doesn't need to be thickened and it seemed that the cornstarch would have just rinsed off in the liquid so I can't see what it was doing for the fish. And such a very small amount, too. I have to say it was one of the most delicious things ever, even if I don't understand it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm sorry, my question wasn't very clear. After the marination, the fish was just added to the congee, which is what confused me. I mean, the congee doesn't need to be thickened and it seemed that the cornstarch would have just rinsed off in the liquid so I can't see what it was doing for the fish. And such a very small amount, too. I have to say it was one of the most delicious things ever, even if I don't understand it!

Hi Diana,

The purpose is the same as "velveting" meat before stir-frying. The small amount of cornstarch gives the slices of fish a velvet texture as it is quickly cooked in the congee. It really makes a difference.

I usually add more than "a pinch." :smile:


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the explanation. I'll try adding more next time.

I have one more question. Is "jook" pronounced more like "book" or "juke"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What kind of sauce is that SobaAddict70? It looks like there's possibly some sesame oil too?

oh sorry, here I am seven months later replying to your question. :raz:

it's just mushroom soy sauce with a little sesame oil. toppings included broiled chicken breast, scallions and pickled ginger (ginger root, rice wine vinegar, salt).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this thread is timely since I've been craving it lately.

here's a pic from last month:

gallery_1890_1967_135585.jpg

the yellow stuff is 2 lightly beaten eggs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have one more question. Is "jook" pronounced more like "book" or "juke"?
Diana, try this link: http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/lexi...ch.php?q=%B5%B0

There are 2 ways to pronounce the character for "jook".

Listen to the sound file against the zuk1 pronunciation.

I've heard Koreans say it like "juke" but with a shorter "oo" sound.


Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an old thread, but I will revive :)

For me, I usually make an Indian version of congee. But when I do make "Chinese style" I like to cook the rice with just a few ginger slices, for at least 3 hours so it's really creamy. Sometimes I add a little celery when there is only 1 hour left, depends how I feel. I serve it with greens that have been stir-fried with lots of garlic and chilli and seasoned with soy sauce and toasted sesame oil (use more of all the seasonings then you would usually - as people will only be adding a little to their congee). I also serve ginger slices, fresh coriander and spring onions, plus extra soy sauce. Yum...

But let me tell you about kanji in Kerala. This is not something you will get in a fancy restaurant, but if you stay at someones home you might be able to try it. When I stayed with some friends in Kerala for six weeks, we sometimes had it for breakfast or for a late supper. It's really easy to digest and so soothing for your stomach. Made with rosematta rice (so it had a very slight pinkish look), the rice is parboiled so it becomes very soft but does not turn to mush. It was always served with payar, which are whole moong beans cooked dry (e.g not a wet soupy dish) with a few seasonings such as onion, curry leaves, ginger, etc. For me, this is pure comfort food.

What about elsewhere in India? Well, travelling through Madhya Pradesh, I noticed "rice soup" on several hotel's menus. I thought to myself, this must be kanji, and so I often ordered it when I wanted something light and comforting to eat. Seasoned with ghee and sometimes a few cumin seeds, I liked to also add a little freshly ground black pepper.

I have heard that in the North East of India, rice gruels are made by cooking rice with lots of water and leaving overnight to ferment slightly, sometimes with a little yoghurt added. Now I have had kanji with yoghurt, but not fermented! And in Goa they have something called pez which is another congee dish.

In fact, the traditional Indian medicine system Ayurvda has a number of gruels and soups made from grains that are prescribed for invalids and those who need a light diet. Plus of course, there is the wet version of khichdi, which adds dal to make a nutritious one pot meal for someone under the weather, or in need of comforting, easy to digest food.

At home, I always made kanji very simply as a light breakfast or supper dish, usually made quite plain and eaten with a dry vegetable dish and/or condiments. Sometimes with yoghurt added too. Nowadays, I often make Kerala style kanji, because it's so good.

I have always thought of kanji and other rice gruels/porridges/soups as something that can only really be appreciated by someone who eats rice everyday, two or three times a day. As one of those kind of people, I have always enjoyed it! But I see now that Chinese style congees have brought this wonderful dish to a whole new audience of people. And I think that can only be a good thing!


Edited by Jenni (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      An old friend from England contacted me yesterday via Facebook with a couple of questions about Five Spice Powder.

      Thought there me be some interest here, too.

      Is there anything more typically Chinese than five spice powder (五香粉 - wǔ xiāng fěn)?
       
      Well, yes. A lot.
       
      Many years ago, I worked in an office overlooking London’s China town. By around 11 am, the restaurants started getting lunch ready and the smell of FSP blanketed the area for the rest of the day. When I moved to China, I didn’t smell that. Only when I first visited Hong Kong, did I find that smell again.
       
      In fact, FSP is relatively uncommon in most of Chinese cuisine. And if I ever see another internet recipe called “Chinese” whatever, which is actually any random food, but the genius behind it has added FSP, supposedly rendering it Chinese, I’ll scream.

      I get all sorts of smells wafting through the neighbourhood. Some mouth-watering; some horrifying. But I don't recall ever that they were FSP.
       
      But what is it anyway? Which five spices?
       
      Today, I bought four samples in four local supermarkets. I would have would have preferred five, but couldn’t find any more. It's not that popular.
       
      First thing to say: none of them had five spices. All had more. That is normal. Numbers in Chinese can often be vague. Every time you hear a number, silently added the word ‘about’ or ‘approximately’. 100 km means “far”, 10,000 means “many”.
       
      Second, while there are some common factors, ingredients can vary quite a bit. Here are my four.

      1.


       
      Ingredients – 7
       
      Star Anise, Fennel Seed, Orange Peel, Cassia Bark, Sand Ginger, Dried Ginger, Sichuan Peppercorns.
       
      2.
       

       
      Ingredients – 6
       
      Cassia Bark, Star Anise, Fennel Seed, Coriander, Sichuan Peppercorn, Licorice Root.

      3.
       

       
      Ingredients – 15
       
      Fennel Seeds, Sichuan Peppercorns, Coriander, Tangerine Peel, Star Anise, Chinese Haw, Cassia Bark, Lesser Galangal, Dahurian Angelica, Nutmeg, Dried Ginger, Black Pepper, Amomum Villosum, Cumin Seeds, Cloves.

      4.
       

       
      Ingredients – 6
       
      Pepper (unspecified – probably black pepper), Sichuan Peppercorns, Star Anise, Fennel Seeds, Nutmeg, Cassia.
       
      So, take your pick. They all taste and smell almost overwhelmingly of the star anise and cassia, although there are subtle differences in taste in the various mixes.
       
      But I don’t expect to find it in many dishes in local restaurants or homes. A quick, unscientific poll of about ten friends today revealed that not one has any at home, nor have they ever used the stuff!
       
       
      I'm not suggesting that FSP shouldn't be used outside of Chinese food. Please just don't call the results Chinese when you sprinkle it on your fish and chips or whatever. They haven't miraculously become Chinese!

      Like my neighbours and friends, I very rarely use it at all.

      In fact, I'd be delighted to hear how it is used in other cultures / cuisines.
    • By liuzhou
      For the last several years Cindy's* job has been to look after me. She takes care of my residence papers, my health insurance, my travel, my housing and associated repairs. She makes sure that I am supplied with sufficient cold beer at official banquets. And she does it all with terrific efficiency and great humour.
       
      This weekend she held her wedding banquet.
       
      Unlike in the west, this isn't held immediately after the marriage is formalised. In fact, she was legally married months ago. But the banquet is the symbolic, public declaration and not the soul-less civil servant stamping of papers that the legal part entails.
      So tonight, along with a few hundred other people, I rolled up to a local hotel at the appointed time. In my pocket was my 'hong bao' or red envelope in which I had deposited a suitable cash gift. That is the Chinese wedding gift protocol. You don't get 12 pop-up toasters here.
       
      I handed it over, then settled down, at a table with colleagues, to a 17 or 18 course dinner.
       
      Before we started, I spotted this red bedecked jar. Shaking, poking and sniffing revealed nothing.
       
       
      A few minutes later, a waitress turned up and opened and emptied the jar into a serving dish. Spicy pickled vegetables. Very vinegary, very hot, and very addictive. Allegedly pickled on the premises, this was just to amuse us as we waited for the real stuff to arrive.
       
       
      Then the serious stuff arrived. When I said 17 courses, I really meant 17 dishes. Chinese cuisine doesn't really do courses. Every thing is served at roughly the same time. But we had:
       
      Quail soup which I neglected to photograph.
       
      Roast duck
       
      Braised turtle
       
      Sticky rice with beef (the beef is lurking underneath)
       
      Steamed chicken
       
      Spicy, crispy shell-on prawns.
       
      Steamed pork belly slices with sliced taro
       
      Spicy squid
       
      Noodles
       
      Chinese Charcuterie (including ducks jaws (left) and duck hearts (right))
       
      Mixed vegetables
       
      Fish
       
      Cakes
       
      Fertility soup! This allegedly increases your fertility and ensures the first born (in China, only born) is a son. Why they are serving to me is anyone's guess. It would make more sense for the happy couple to drink the lot.
       
      Greenery
       
      Jiaozi
       
      There was a final serving of quartered oranges, but I guess you have seen pictures of oranges before.
       
      The happy couple. I wish them well.
       
      *Cindy is the English name she has adopted. Her Chinese name is more than usually difficult to pronounce. Many Chinese friends consider it a real tongue-twister.
    • By liuzhou
      A few days ago, I was given a lovely gift. A big jar of preserved lemons.
       
      I know Moroccan preserved lemons, but had never met Chinese ones. In fact, apart from in the south, in many parts of China it isn't that easy to find lemons, at all.
       
      These are apparently a speciality of the southern Zhuang minority of Wuming County near Nanning. The Zhuang people are the largest ethnic minority in China and most live in Guangxi. These preserved lemons feature in their diet and are usually eaten with congee (rice porridge). Lemon Duck is a local speciality and they are also served with fish. They can be served as a relish, too. They are related to the Vietnamese Chanh muối.
       
      I'm told that these particular lemons have been soaking in salt and lemon juice for eleven years!
       

       

       
      So, of course, you want to know what they taste like. Incredibly lemony. Concentrated lemonness. Sour, but not unpleasantly so. Also a sort of smoky flavour.
       
      The following was provided by my dear friend 马芬洲 (Ma Fen Zhou) who is herself Zhuang. It is posted with her permission.
       
      How to Make Zhuang Preserved Lemons
      By 马芬洲
       
      Zhuang preserved lemons is a kind of common food for the southern Zhuang ethnic minority who live around Nanning Prefecture of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China. The Zhuang people like to make it as a relish for eating with congee or congee with corn powder. This relish is a mixture of chopped preserved lemons, red chilli and garlic or ginger slice in soy sauce and peanut oil or sesame oil.
       

       
      Sometimes the Zhuang people use preserved lemons as an ingredient in cooking. The most famous Zhuang food in Guangxi is Lemon Duck, which is a common home cooked dish in Wuming County, which belongs to Nanning Prefecture.
       
      The following steps show you how to make Zhuang preserved lemons.
       
      Step 1 Shopping
      Buy some green lemons.
       
      Step 2 Cleaning
      Wash green lemons.
       
      Step 3 Sunning
      Leave green lemons under the sunshine till it gets dry.
       
      Step 4 Salting
      If you salt 5kg green lemons, mix 0.25kg salt with green lemons. Keep the salted green lemons in a transparent jar. The jar must be well sealed. Leave the jar under the sunshine till the salted green lemons turn yellow. For example, leave it on the balcony. Maybe it will take months to wait for those salted green lemons to turn yellow. Later, get the jar of salted yellow lemons back. Unseal the jar. Then cover 1kg salt over the salted yellow lemons. Seal well the jar again.
       
      Step 5 Preserving
      Keep the sealed jar of salted yellow lemons at least 3 years. And the colour of salted yellow lemons will turn brown day by day. It can be dark brown later. The longer you keep preserved lemons, the better taste it is. If you eat it earlier than 2 years, it will taste bitter. After 3 years, it can be unsealed. Please use clean chopsticks to pick it. Don’t use oily chopsticks, or the oil will make preserved lemons go bad. Remember to seal the jar well after picking preserved lemons every time.
    • By liuzhou
      Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China, where I live, is sugar central for the country. Over two-thirds of China's output of sugar is grown right here, making it one of the largest sugar production areas on the planet. I have a second home in the countryside and it is surrounded by sugar cane fields.

      Much of this is produced by small time farmers, although huge Chinese and international companies have also moved in.
       
      Also, sugar is used extensively in Chinese cooking, not only as a sweetener, but more as a spice. A little added to a savoury dish can bring out otherwise hidden flavours. It also has medicinal attributes according to traditional Chinese medicine.
       
      Supermarkets have what was to me, on first sight, a huge range of sugars, some almost unrecognisable. Here is a brief introduction to some of them. Most sugar is sold loose, although corner shops and mom 'n pop stores may have pre-packed bags. These are often labelled in English as "candy", the Chinese language not differentiating between "sugar" and "candy" - always a source of confusion. Both are 糖 (táng),

      IMPORTANT NOTE: The Chinese names given here and in the images are the names most used locally. They are all Mandarin Chinese, but it is still possible that other names may be used elsewhere in China. Certainly, non-Mandarin speaking areas will be different.

      By the far the simplest way to get your sugar ration is to buy the unprocessed sugar cane. This is not usually available in supermarkets but is a street vendor speciality. In the countryside, you can buy it at the roadside. There are also people in markets etc with portable juice extractors who will sell you a cup of pure sugar cane juice.


       
      I remember being baffled then amused when, soon after I first arrived in China, someone asked me if I wanted some 甘蔗 (gān zhè). It sounded exactly like 'ganja' or cannabis. No such luck! 甘蔗 (gān zhè) is 'sugar cane'.
       
      The most common sugar in the supermarkets seems to be 冰糖 (bīng táng) which literally means 'ice 'sugar' and is what we tend to call 'rock sugar' or 'crystal sugar'. This highly refined sugar comes in various lump sizes although the price remains the same no matter if the pieces are large or small. Around ¥7/500g. That pictured below features the smaller end of the range.


       
      Related to this is what is known as 冰片糖 (bīng piàn táng) which literally means "ice slice sugar". This is usually slightly less processed (although I have seen a white version, but not recently) and is usually a pale brown to yellow colour. This may be from unprocessed cane sugar extract, but is often white sugar coloured and flavoured with added molasses. It is also sometimes called 黄片糖  (huáng piàn táng) or "yellow slice sugar". ¥6.20/500g.
       


      A less refined, much darker version is known as 红片糖 (hóng piàn táng), literally 'red slice sugar'. (Chinese seems to classify colours differently - what we know as 'black tea' is 'red tea' here. ¥7.20/500g.


       
      Of course, what we probably think of as regular sugar, granulated sugar is also available. Known as 白砂糖 (bái shā táng), literally "white sand sugar', it is the cheapest at  ¥3.88/500g.



      A brown powdered sugar is also common, but again, in Chinese, it isn't brown. It's red and simply known as 红糖 (hóng táng). ¥7.70/500g


       
      Enough sweetness and light for now. More to come tomorrow.
    • By Dejah
      [Host's note: This topic forms part of an extended discussion which grew too large for our servers to handle efficiently.  The conversation continues from here.]
       
       
      Supper: Yeem Gok Gai:

      Mock Fried Rice - grated cauliflower

      Baby Shanghai Bok Choy and ginger

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.