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Jan 30, 2005 12:18 AM

Roast Pig jook

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Recently there has been a discussion about jook on this board and since I have just cooked jook without recipe I desided to start writing them down. Last week during the cold rain and even colder weather I cook a old family comfort jook. This is the easiest jook you can make. Only three ingredients and not possible for nayone to mess up.

First you need to stop by your favorite Cantonese BBQ shop. Ask for the head and at least one set of trotter (feet) of a roast pig. This will be cheap between four to six dollars for the bundle. The better the customer the cheap it will be.

Have the shop chop it up for you.

Then you wash two cops of rice until the water runs clear. The coat the rice grains with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add to a 12 qt stock pot. Add in about the Roast Pig pieces and about 8 qt of water and about 3” peeled ginger. Then after getting the water to boil reduce to a simmer. Cover with a little crack so that the jook will boil over.

I would than go to your computer and read Chowhound for a couple of hours and when the house fills with the wonderful smell of jook. You can then just add a little soy ( only if you want, I normally do not add any soy), finely chopped green onions to your bowl and your lunch is ready.

If this winter last long enough I will be making a lot of jook and I may post the rest of the jook recipes as I make them. Our sons have request that I start wrting down recipes so they will have them for later use. I plan to share some on this board.

I love jooks and cold weather soups for the warming effect and I always have some to share with friends.

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  1. Thanks for the recipe, yimster. Got warmed up just reading it. Great that you will be passing these down to your sons. I'm going to ask my mom how she makes her chao (Viet rice porridge) when I see her soon. Look forward to your future recipes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Carb Lover

      The first time I ate jook was at breakfast in the Regal Meriden hotel in Hong Kong about 20 years ago. We were planing a trip to Macao and I am notoriously seasick even sitting in the bathtub; the wait person said to me - have a bowl of jook with a few dried fish pieces and chopped onion in it and your stomach will be completely settled. I made the hydrofoil trip without any problem and have been a lover of this wonderful dish ever since.

      1. re: Carb Lover

        Please post that one. I for one like the Vietnamese chicken jook.

      2. I, like you, have made a lot of jook in my time and would like to make some comments. I refined my methods by cut-and-try as time went by. I used to put the pig’s head or turkey carcass and rice in the stockpot and boil away. Then, to avoid having any bones in my jook, somewhere along the way, I would have to fish the pig head pieces or turkey or chicken carcass pieces out, shred and save the meat to throw back into the jook and discard the leftover unwanted bones.

        As it was sometimes difficult to see to be able to be sure all the bones were extracted from the jook making it in the above, I also tried a process wherein I made the stock with the carcass or head pieces, completely sieve out the bones and pour the stock into another pot. This takes lots of time, in effect, one makes the stock with no bones in it first, followed by a second step of making the jook with the stock.

        Now, I make my jook altogether in a spaghetti cooker. I put the rice in the bottom of the cooker. I put the carcess in the separate upper container with the holes where one normally put the spaghetti. Now, the rice and stock start cookingtogether from the beginning. After a while, I pull out the container containing the boil-softened head or carcess pieces, draining all liquid back into the pot. Let the drained head and carcass pieces cool, shed the usable meat and return it to the pot and finish cooking the jook. This results in reduced overall time for cooking (can start in the morning and jook is ready for early lunch).

        There used to be a BBQ place in Milpitas that does at least one pig a day daily and two a day on weekends. Their roast pig heads were bigger and better than those at Ranch 99 and sold for only $3/head. I used to buy the whole head (do not chop!). At home, I’d take out all the crispy skin for eating as is (best part of the roast pig and would be wasted in jook). Then, I break the head into pieces and selectively use the pieces I want for jook. I discovered that there was more crispy skin to saved and to be eat alone in the head than was available in buying a pound of roast pig rib or rump section.

        There’s jook and there’s jook, and there are still different versions of jook leftover! The Southerners add goodies to the jook while cooking, the Northerners make plain jook and provide condiments to add to the jook afterwards. I like to add an egg or two and whip it as a finishing step to cooking jook. Then, whatever turns you on, add some sesame oil, cilantro, green onions, preserved egg, raw fish, pickled cucumber, roasted peanuts, etc., etc..

        3 Replies
        1. re: CYL

          Yes there is jook and then there is jook. A truer statement was never said.

          Roast Pig jook is something we made when we were lazy. It is one step. I do fish out the bones but then again the skin can stick to the bones and it fun to get the goodies off the bones. Also it the only jook that you do not have to season. The five spice from the pig is favor enough

          I hope before it warms up I finish making the six or so jooks we have made in the past. My older son who want to cook for a living said I have to review with him before posting these recipes.

          Unless you would like to post your recipes.

          Pork and Preserved Egg

          Peanut and Dried Pollock

          Potato and Dried Oyster, Mom used to make this jook when I had a fever do to illness. She called Lowing the Fever Jook.

          The Basic Jook base.

          Pray for cold weather hounds.

          1. re: yimster

            Basic jook is really only water and rice (i.e., Ken Hom specifies 4 cups water to 1 cup rice). Going beyond the basics, I make my own jook instinctly and by what ingredients are readily available in the house to add to basic jook and not via any set recipe that is written down. Out of curiosity, however, I also looked further into Grace Young’s book and she shows three recipes – chicken, turkey, and ginko nut jooks. Her ginko nut jook, using ginko nut, dried bean curd, dried scallops, and flank steak also has therapeutic value.

            I have not had fever jook, but vaguely remember potato soup. Your mention of fever jook also brings back fond memories of that gosh awful tea from the herb store on Jackson Street my Mom prevailed upon me to drink when sick with flu?. Had to be coaxed by golden raisins beforehand before drinking. Somehow, it was an effective potent. I never had to take a second dose. I do not know whether the tea cured me or prompted me to hurry and get well by myself as I so dreaded to have to take more of the stuff! Which is better? Fever jook sounds less scary to me than fever tea!

            1. re: CYL

              The basic jook is rice, water, chicken bones, pork and whatever vegetables you have available. I will make some in a week or two.

        2. Thank you, Yimster. I particularly like the step where you say to read Chowhound for a couple of hours while the house fills with the smell of jook!