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Jul 27, 2004 11:07 AM

Jook Joints?

  • k

Not the type Quincy Jones sings about, but places that serve rice porridge or congee.

My thread on lefteover rice and Margarets recent post about a jook joint (see link) have given me a craving to try this.

Besides good places to go, how do I eat this. Do you just get a bowl with everything mixed in or is this one of the mix it yourself deals?

Do you order anything else with it? It seems one post mentioned some sort of donut.

Is there a time of day to eat this? i have this impression it is a breakfast food.

What should good jook taste like? Margaret mentioned it should not be too runny.

Anyway what is your favorite type of jook at your favorite jook joint ...

Plsces I've seen mentioned are
Bow Hon on grant
Hing Lung
Washington St. Bakery

What is yau tieu?

p.s. how expensive is it?



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  1. "What is yau tieu?"

    One picture is worth 10,000 words.



    7 Replies
    1. re: Gary Soup

      oh, i'm hungry now! :)

      there is also a version -- zah leung -- that has these donuts wrapped in thin rice noodles with a dousing of sesame seeds and mild soy mixture. my mom's favorite!!

      1. re: vespaloon

        They sell those noodle wrapped doughnuts at the little jook place on Noriega near the Safeway (30th Ave. or so) that has a purple sign. This place also has some great shrimp-filled (about 5 shrimp in each) dumplings.

        1. re: Nancy Berry

          Would that be Ming Tai on Noriega and 32nd?


          1. re: Melanie Wong

            That's the one, Melanie. Ming Tai on Noriega at 32nd Ave. Cash only.

            1. re: Nancy Berry

              It was your reminder that sent me to Noriega for lunch yesterday. But the lure of duck steered me away from Ming Tai...wish I'd been there instead.

        2. re: vespaloon

          Couldn't resist going to Fat Wong's again today because they didn't have the steamed rice noodles the other night. The "zah Leung" at Fat Wong is incredible ($3.50 for three strips, cut into 4 pieces each). The rice noodle is made on location...very thin and very smooth. The YauTieu in the middle is thin, chewy and not greasy. I LOVED it. This place is known for the Zah Leung, along with their jook. They have something like 8 kinds of steamed rice noodles (Cheung Fun). We ordered two: (1)bitter melon w/chicken and (2) Sliced fish with cilantro. I have to say the steamed rice noodles are one of the very best I've ever tasted..including those from HK. The woman who makes it makes this all day until 9:00pm, I believe. The fillings were alright...good but the outstanding part of these dishes is definitely the steamed riced noodles. I am pretty hard to impress but this place is now my favorite destination restaurant for small eats. By the way, their wontons & dumplings were ok.., very good in fact, but not something I need to go here for. We saw some people eat a stewed beef over wonton noodles that looked promising. The stewed beef were sliced thin and in a savory broth, rather than the usual brown anise gravy.

        3. re: Gary Soup

          Mmmmm...yum. What a wonderful picture. Thank you for sharing!

          For the original poster: Youtiao is a basic dough (meaning it's neither sweet nor savory) that's deep fried in these big strips until it's golden brown with lots of bubbles in it for extra crisp. It's also tasty dunked in warm, sweetened soy milk.

        4. Daimo, by the Pacific Mall in El Cerrito/Richmond offers Chinese breakfasts and has a lot of jook options. Also the fried bread. Jook and Chinese donuts are just about the cheapest things you can get in a Chinese restaurant.

          1. krys,
            the places you listed are primarily Cantonese in nature (Hing Lung is known for their jook)- the consistency is usually slightly thickened but not thick...creamy from the breaking down of the rice/starch....the basic jook is usually mildly flavored with stock or bones, etc. but then is garnished with whatever ingredients you order. But jook/congee is enjoyed in countries all over Asia and there are distinct / or not so distinct regional variations. Maybe someone else will be able to fill in some more details but I think the Taiwanese jook is a bit thicker and relatively bland but it is accompanied by a variety of toppings: peanuts, dried fishies, preserved vegetables, salted egg, etc..... Thais have their version also....

            3 Replies
            1. re: gordon wing

              I've tried the Filipino version - called arroz caldo - at a few places. Looser with more whole rice, and so far the chicken broths used in the base have been intensely fantastic. I imagine that places like Jollibee's and ChowKing have lot of bones and extra parts from their fried chicken business that go into the stock pot to create this richness.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                sounds very good - will have to stop next time I am near a Jollibee's.

              2. re: gordon wing

                I think Taiwan Point in the Richmond area of SF has porridge and also toppings too, though I've never tried their version. Years ago, the porridge with topping was a very "in" cuisine. Lots of Taiwanese restaurants in LA served porridge exclusively.

              3. Jook has many different forms . In San Francisco’s Chinatown the version is Cantonese which is like no other. The Cantonese like there jook creamy or in Chinese the rice will open like a flower. When you ask in your jook post on the other board I reply you will not get that use cooked rice as a starter. You only can get that with starting with uncooked rice.

                But to you question Hing Lung is mostly likely your best bet at this time. I recommend there fish jook with a side order of the fried bread, Soy Sauce King Chow Mien and a dish of rice noodle wrap fried bread. I will have to let someone else try to write down how to say it. You may have to invite someone along to help you finish the side dishes. Two fried bread and chow mien will add crispy items to your jook. The jook there has a very good stock base. Jook is taken from a large pot and ingredients are added to create the version you want. But the most important thing is the jook starter. The ingredients add favor but you need a good soup.

                The just closed King Tein was also good. I dislike the service, but the jook was very good and so cheap. They had meal deals on the wall in Chinese (what else) that offer fried bread and rice noodle rolls for under 4 bucks. There bread was good but not nearly as good as HIng Lung.

                But I am sure that everyone will have there own favorite which I sure they will share.

                If you go to the South Bay then you will be able to get the Vietnamese version, Taiwan version and Northern China version. I do not care for them as much but that is because I grown on the Cantonese version. There is not way to settle which is better. It is like a Wild Turkey drinker telling a Jim Beam drinker that his is better. Not settlement there.

                The cost of the jook will depend on the ingredients but 5 bucks a bowl is about right.

                1. Krys,

                  I think jook is like spaghetti sauce in the sense that there must be hundreds of permutation for each region, depending on preferences. Like Yimster said, the ones you mentioned are cantonese. I can summarize the varieties as follows:

                  1. Cantonese: The base to the cantonese jook is the most important part of the dish. It is usually made with somekind of meat broth. There is a version call white porridege which just had gingho nut and dried tofu skin and maybe some dried scallops. Many people like to eat this version with the fried dough for breakfast. However, jook can be eaten anytime during the day...but mostly for breakfast, lunch or night cap. My kids like their home made jook very thick...something I dislike. I like mine a bit runny. so you'd have to try different renditions to gauge your preferences. Ingredients are added raw to boiling jook base to make jook in restaurants. My favorites are Hing Lung on Broadway in SF and Fat Wong's in San Bruno. (Although the jook I had at Fat Wong today was a tat too thick for me...but I like soupier jook). Broadway Bistro in Millbrae has this chopped DRIED oyster jook with thousand year old eggs which is uniques which I crave at times.

                  2. Chiew Jow jook. The jook from this province are very runny. Cooked rice is added to boiling broth or boiling water to get a soup of sort. The rice remains whole. This version is eaten with food on the side. A small dish of chopped dried daikon is served on the side as well. A good place to try this is the Chiew Jow restaurant called "Mun Kee"? on the corner of 23rd Ave & Noriega. You order the Chiew Jow Jook and order small eats on the side...such as salt & pepper white fish, fried oyster pancake, etc. The food is acceptable here..

                  3. Taiwanese jook. I can't say I know everything about this one but the version I've had has yam in a similar watery rice mixture. You also eat this with Taiwanese small eats. Yimster recently had this at 5A's in Burlingame. Another very good place for this is at "Wong Wong Jook" in the Cupertino shopping center off Wolf Road, where the 99 Ranch is. You should go during week days at lunch, when you can order their lunch special. You get to pick three small eat items and they bring you all the taiwanese jooks you can eat. $4.95 Very good.

                  I think my thread is getting way way too long. Sorry. I hope this info helps.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Margret

                    No apologies, thanks for the info.

                    I've had Vietnamese versions - chao - a few times now, and it's in the Teochew (chiew jow) mold. Many of the ethnic Chinese in Vietnam are Teochew, so I guess this makes sense. I looked back at my post on the chao vit I tried in San Jose (link below), and the rice porridge and the green dipping sauce are exactly in Teochew style.

                    The place on Noriega in Men Kee Wonton. As you say, it's acceptable.