Korean Seafood Congee or Juk 죽

korean seafood congee or juk
Photo by Chloe Lim, licensed under CC BY 2.0
Fall/Autumn is here. It’s the season for softened hues, cooler air with hints of earthy smells – which means cozy evenings and hot soups. This isn’t my first Fall of all time, but it’s my first right here in Canada – and Fall in Canada brings to mind two things: 1) Asian flavours, and 2) Healthy, soupy foods. With this, I bring you a Korean recipe that is guaranteed to warm your tastebuds and your heart – Korean Seafood Congee or Juk.
Unlike the Hong Kong/Chinese style of making congee, the Koreans prefer to first fry the uncooked rice with some sesame oil, before boiling the rice. I believe this is so that the grains of rice are evenly mixed and infused with the heated, fragrant sesame oil.
Another reason (and this is the same as the Hong Kong/Chinese way of cooking congee) for mixing the rice with oil is to allow for the grains of rice to break down faster into soft, mushy grains – to achieve smooth, velvety, congee. The same goes for Korean juk/jook.
This healthy and delicious recipe is full of protein and vitamins. It’s great as a family meal – and even suits babies (you may want to do a version with pork or chicken should your baby be allergic to seafood). Old Korean folklore even states that after a woman gives birth, she must drink kelp soup, as it promote healing and recovery. Based on what I researched, the idea came about when some Koreans witness whales eating kelp as a staple, shortly after they’ve given birth.
To buy kelp, you could go to any large supermarket that has an international section. Head to the Japanese or Korean section and you can find it in a packet like this. Oftentimes, dried kelp is also called “konbu” in the Japanese section of the supermarket.
Korean Seafood Congee or Juk 죽
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
14 mins
Total Time
44 mins
 

Fall/Autumn is here. It’s the season for softened hues, cooler air with hints of earthy smells - which means cozy evenings and hot soups. This isn’t my first Fall of all time, but it’s my first right here in Canada - and Fall in Canada brings to mind two things: 1) Asian flavours, and 2) Healthy, soupy foods. With this, I bring you a Korean recipe that is guaranteed to warm your tastebuds and your heart - Korean Seafood Congee or Juk. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Korean
Ingredients
  • A handful of dried kelp soaked in 10-15 cups water for at least 30 minutes
  • 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup of any type of seafood you like I used frozen mussels, squid, and prawns
  • 1 cup carrots diced finely
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 cup rice washed three times and drained
  • Fish sauce to taste or salt
  • Some roasted laver/seaweed crushed (for garnishing)
  • 1/4 cup green onions chopped (for garnishing)
Instructions
  1. Soak dried kelp in water in water for at least 30 minutes. I like to prepare more cups of water (more broth) just in case. It’s always good to make more broth as you can freeze the leftovers anyway.
  2. In the meantime, chop up all your vegetables and garlic.
  3. In a rice cooker or deep pot (I’m using a rice cooker to do everything) - heat up 1/2 tablespoon canola oil. Once oil is hot, add garlic and stir gently, mixing with the oil till garlic is golden. Then, add seafood of your choice, as well as carrots, to the fried garlic mixture. Stir gently for about 2-3 minutes to combine. If you’re using a rice cooker, make sure you use a spatula that does not scratch the bottom of the rice cooker.
  4. Remove all the ingredients from the rice cooker or pot (including the juices from the seafood, if any), and transfer into a bowl. Set aside.
  5. Now, dry the rice cooker or pot with a paper towel. Ensure the surface is thoroughly dry.
  6. Make sure the heat is turned on and high, then add 3 teaspoons of sesame oil into the rice cooker or pot. Immediately throw in the uncooked rice, and stir to evenly coat the grains of rice in sesame oil.
  7. Finally, go back to your dried kelp-water. Remove the kelp and set aside. Do not throw the kelp away. See recipe notes below on what to do with the kelp. Pour about 10 cups of broth into the rice cooker/pot and bring the congee to a boil.
  8. When the congee is boiling, add more broth if necessary. If not, add the cooked seafood-garlic mixture into the congee. Allow the congee to boil for a couple more minutes, then turn the heat off. If you’re using a rice cooker, you may want to manually turn it off or switch to the “Keep Warm” setting.
  9. When ready to serve, add some fish sauce or salt to taste.
  10. 10. Finally, this is an optional step but I love to add some crushed roasted seaweed on top of my bowl of congee. I’m not a big fan of chopped green onions, but you may add them if you like.
Recipe Notes

As mentioned in the cooking instructions above, do not throw away the precious kelp. You can make a Korean Cold Kelp Salad (Miyeok Muchin) to go with your congee. It’s a healthy, delicious and fuss-free side dish.

 



 

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Non-Dairy Cream of Cauliflower and Potato Soup

Egg and Bok Choy Vermicelli Soup

Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon

Jesslyn

Jesslyn is an experimental individual who loves to get hands-on for anything she’s passionate about. She's a marketer and web developer by day. She’s also an animal lover and coffee aficionado.
Jesslyn

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