Jook is basically like a rice soup and there are many versions. Pork & Century egg congee(皮蛋瘦肉粥/pí dàn shòu ròu zhōu/)is probably the most popular one.
I know some of you have probably seen century eggs (皮蛋/pídàn/) in the Asian markets many times and wondering they are truly preserved for 100 years. Of course not. It is just duck eggs that are pickled with sodium Hydroxide and other spices for a few weeks to a few months, which is not as scary as you think.
There are many reaction videos out there telling you how bad it tastes. That is because they are eating it wrong. This recipe is the most common way to enjoy century eggs. Of there are other ways, I will share that in the future.
- 200 grams (1 cup) of jasmine rice
- 2-2.5 liter (8-10 cups ) of broth or water
- 400 grams (14 oz) of pork loin
- 2 tsp of salt to marinate the pork
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp of cornstarch
- 4 century eggs
- 1 tbsp of grated ginger
- White pepper to taste
- Diced scallion as garnish
- Slat to adjust the taste at the end
Rinse the rice under running water a couple of times. Congee is originally made with leftover rice (you can check my chicken congee recipe to learn that method). In this recipe, I will make congee directly from uncooked rice.
Soak the rice on the side for 10-15 minutes while you are waiting for the broth to come to a boil. The soaking will shorten the cooking time.
Add 8-10 cups of broth or water to a clay pot and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, you can prepare the pork loin. Remove the fat and silver skin around the pork loin. Slice the pork loin into 1/4 of an inch thick slaps. Stack the slaps together then thinly julienne them.
Marinade the pork with salt, garlic powder, egg white, and cornstarch. 2 tsp of salt seems like a lot for 14 oz of pork; that is on purpose. When we cook the pork in the rice soup, the soup will dilute the seasoning. If you use the normal amount of salt, the pork will have no flavor.
Once the broth comes to a boil, drain the rice completely and add it to the boiling water. Stir and wait for it to come back to a boil. Switch the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Here is another trick. I like to place a pair of chopsticks on the pot and put the lid on top of the chopsticks. Congee is one of those soups that will definitely overflow if the lid is on. Putting the chopsticks solves the problem perfectly.
Crack century eggs and peel the shell. Roughly cut the eggs into bite-size pieces. Century egg has a light earthy flavor and a sharp alkaline taste, which will fade away once cooked in the rice congee and left with a mild umami taste. A good century egg, the yolk should still be running; that is the best part because it melts into the soup and makes the congee rich and creamy.
the rice has been simmering for 15 minutes now. As you can see, the rice and the broth is separated. The broth is still pretty clear. Take a whisk and stir for a minute or 2. This will break up the rice grains and thicken the soup. The more you stir, the creamer your jook will come out.
Check it out. The broth and the rice grains are blended together. That is the stander of a perfect Jook.
Now you can add the century eggs; stir to separate the pieces. Add the grated ginger and the marinade pork. Stir to loosen up the strips so they don’t stick together. Once all the pork is changed color. Let it cook for a few more minutes. And you are done.
Before serving, give it a taste. The chicken stock that I used is salted so I am not going to add anymore sodium. But if you are using unsalted stock, you will have to adjust it by taste. Last, I like to add some white pepper for a little kick. Sprinkle the diced scallion as garnish.
The best thing to go with jook is the deep-fried donut stick, but I didn’t make it today, so I will just eat it on its own. It is savory and comfortable. The taste of the century egg is mild. I think those reaction videos are overreacting. I hope you give this a try soon and let me know what you think.