Most of the western world seems to know this rice gruel as congee(this word is actually Indian in origin), but I know it as jook. In any event, here is my take on it.

  • 1 cup Chinese long grain rice(uncooked)
  • 3 litres of water
  • 1 tsp minced ginger (you can really omit the ginger)
  • Salt
  1. Rince rice once under cold water and drain, do not keep rinsing until the liquid is clear or you will have washed away the starch that gives this soup its consistency.
  2. In a large pot stir rice, ginger, and water
  3. Bring to a boil, Simmer until the proper consistency is reached... perhaps an hour or more
  4. Salt to taste and serve
The consistency you want to reach, like Jinmyo mentioned is silky. It's not entirely unlike a cream soup. You are trying to reach a point where the level of rice in the pot and the level of water are the same.

When jook cools it thickens, don't worry, heating it up will make it liquid again. So it's all right to store it in your fridge for a couple of days

I cannot get enough of this stuff. I love it. I made a large pot today and I've already eaten most of it. When I go to a restaurant my favourite variety is the thousand year old egg and salted pork. It is so much better than the seafood variety (which costs twice as much).

You can vary the flavour by changing what you put in it. DMan has offered several very good suggestions. Two others I know of are: fried peanut and scallion, and seafood (prawns, scallops etc). I also like to stir in some Guilin Chili Sauce to add some heat to the mix. You often find a dish of chili sauce at your table in Chinese tea/noodle houses to be used as a condiment. Start small. It's excellent stuff. Another possibility is a "Chinese doughnut" which is really closer to a crueller I think. An unsweetend stick of fried dough cut up into bite sized pieces. Congee by itself is not really very filling and the "doughnut" helps keep you full.

Liberties can be taken with the liquid used to make the soup. You can use a broth or stock of any variety. I prefer poultry, but my father will not make jook unless he has pork on hand.