米粥 Rice Porridge
One of the occasions for making rice porridge, or “juk” in Chinese, is when someone is sick and would like a comfort food. In American culture we make chicken noodle soup as a comfort food, likewise rice porridge is a warm soup with soften rice it in that warms the belly. The styles of preparation vary depending on what flavor you would like it in the soup. The most common is probably using bits of chicken to add flavor. However, I’ve seen other flavors such as, seafood, beef, frog or special cow intestines used for the rice porridge.
So, my little one is sick today and asked for “jup jup”. He can’t quite speak Chinese yet, so it’s cute when you requests for “juk”.
For those of you who had “juk” growing up but never learned how to make it, here’s a little easy-to-make way of cooking it. The amount of ingredients is based on preference on how salty and how much flavor you would like your “juk”. My cooking tends to be bland, so if you’d like more flavor, you can increase the amount of meat and seasoning.
1 cup of rice
¼ cup of barley
6 cups of water
1 piece of ginger (peeled and sliced)
2 pieces of dehydrated citrus peel
1 can chicken broth & 1/2 can of corn
4 pieces of chicken tender
1 table spoon soy sauce & sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar & starch
**Few leaves of chopped lettuce, some chopped green onions, cilantro
**Package of Chinese donuts and some pickled cucumber
The cooking time for the porridge is about 45 minutes. First, put cleaned rice and barley into a big pot filled with 6 cups of water and turn on heat to a high broil. Add ginger slices and citrus peel.
Cut chicken tenders into small bite sized chunks and marinate with soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and starch. After the chicken has been marinated for 20 minutes, you can put it into the pot.
If you notice that the soup is too thick, prepare ahead of time some boiling water to add to the pot. Keep stirring the porridge to prevent the rice & barley from sticking to the pot. When you see that the rice has softened completely, you can pour in the chicken broth. Stir and turn off heat.
Optional, you can prepare some chopped lettuce and place the uncooked lettuce at the bottom of the bowl. Then pour some of the cooked porridge on top of the lettuce. If you’d like, you can flavor the porridge with some chopped green onions and cilantro. Many Cantonese people love to eat Chinese donut, fried bread. You can dip the donut into the porridge. Pickled cucumber is also a favorite adding a salty-crunchy flavor to the porridge.