Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jok or Rice Porridge

After the last few days of some pretty intense flavors, I felt lime making something mild. I decided to make jok or rice porridge. Jok used to be an important part of my breakfast diet during my Bangkok days. I had a favorite vendor about 20 meters from my front door and a few others to choose from nearby. It featured on the blog at least a couple of times. Interested parties can look here, here, or (not blogged) even here. Jok isn't rocket science, but then again neither is rocket science if you take the time to study it. Did that make sense?

I've made many piss poor attempts at jok over the years and it's an embarrassment. My first problem was being an idiot. My second problem was not realizing that I was an idiot. I rectified this problem by following a recipe from my new cookbook.

In all seriousness, the most important ingredient is rice, but what kind of rice? Broken rice. I have tried and failed with regular rice and never gotten it to cook down enough to give me the proper consistency. So you buy pre-broken rice and that takes care of the problem. The rest is just seasoning and toppings. Here's what you put in and on top.
Besides rice you need light soy sauce, white pepper, ginger and green onions. My recipe called for pandan leaves, but I was fresh out. Also, Jok almost always has pork balls or some other pork product but I just didn't feel like any pork today so I just skipped it. I did however get my hands on some century eggs, as this was often one of my favorite additions.
Century eggs look the darkest night when whole, but are translucent when you get a closer look. I find them a little too strong on their own, but mixed in with everything else they add an interesting dimesnsion to the porridge.
A lot of these recipes make rather small servings, but the above jok is only a small amount of the finished product, so it looks like I will be enjoying it for breakfast in the morning as it is meant to be.

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