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Where can I get juk?

I am in Hong Kong right now, and my default breakfast is at the company cafeteria, where HK$17 (about US$2.50) gets me a big bowl of rice porridge (juk) with lean pork and preserved egg, two small cha shu bao, and a mug of steaming milk tea.

I know I'm going to pine for this when I'm back home. I'm in the East SFV, but I don't expect juk since there aren't very many "real" Chinese restaurants in the SFV -- SGV would be fine.


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  1. In the SFV, any outpost of Sam Woo's should have it. I've gotten it at several of their restaurants I believe...this is vegas and the west convina and one near walnut....great stuff with some soy sauce and lemon....

    I dunno if they have those in the SFV....I always order it as congee and you can get it with the preserved (century egg) or whatever you desire.

    that is, if juk and congee are the same thing, which i think they are....

    2 Replies
    1. re: Xericx

      I actually just like it plain with its contents and maybe a sprinkling of chopped green onion on top.

      Sam Woo, eh... there's one next to 99 Ranch in Van Nuys, is that open for breakfast?

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        I think the kitchen opens around 11 but am not sure - I eat their porridge all the time! Have also had it at Empress Pavilion on Sundays.

    2. Around here (Bay Area) it's spelled "jook". Might get you further if you're googling.

      1. Very easy to make...basically rice and water(or broth of your preference). Then add what you want.

        Thanksgiving's coming and Thanksgiving Friday its time for turkey jook.

        1. It's a staple at Dim Sum so, any Dim Sum house should have it.

          1. They serve it Thai style at wat thai about every other Sunday. It's served with ginger and a meat of your choice (chicken, ground pork, etc) and is a bit zestier than the Chinese version.

            Most dim sum places also serve it from a cart. I think A&W in the Valley serves it also, but I may be remembering wrong.

            1. hey it's called the same thing in Korean.

              anyhow, in K-town (I know, its not the east SFV) there's a place called San (mountain) on 8th and Catalina (?) that is well known for what they call abalone jook (it's actually clam meat though). they pop a raw quail egg in there for you to mix it in. very tasty with the usual kimchi side dishes and jang jorim (beef brisket steeped in soy sauce).

              alternatively, i once had grits at Norm's on La Cienega near Melrose. I know it's made with corn but the consistency is the same as jook. btw, they have soy sauce at Norm's!

              1. If you can't find any jook, you might look for arroz caldo (sp?)... I think its the filipino version of chicken jook.

                1. Pho So 1 at Sepulveda/Victory provides a simple rice porridge as part of their 7 course beef menu. Its a good sized bowl of just rice porridge and a smattering of julienned beef as condiment. You can order just the porridge separately from the 7 course menu, but they tend to embellish the porridge with more beef 'parts' when ordered ala carte...

                  1. one thing you can do that i've done before is this:

                    even if its a crappy "inauthentic" "dumbed down" chinese food restaurant, these guys are still chinese and have to eat themselves. the food they cook for their own meals is still gonna be decent.

                    i've had authentic chinese meals cooked for me off menu in countries as varied as czeck republic, bulgaria, belize, peru, you name it. you just go in and ask them if they can cook it for you. moneys money.

                    1. Dim sum restaurant usually have some kind of jook/juk/congee/porridge/xi fan. It's all rice porridge, just different names.

                      The versions at dim sum restaurants tend to have ground pork and bits of thousand year egg (pi dan so rou joook), but is still pretty mildly flavored.

                      Shao Mei in LA used to serve porridge with bits of yams in it, but it's been years since I've been.

                      A breakfast place like Four Seas in Hacienda Heights will almost certainly have porridge. I'm 99% sure on that one.

                      The problem with porridge is that most Chinese people make the plain version you're describing at home, and versions in restaurants tend to have pork, thousand year egg, or seafood in them.

                      1. You know, you could just hit the 99 ranch when you get home and pick up a fancy pants rice cooker and make your own. Its ridiculously easy to make--even the stuff with pork and preserved veg. My husband and I typically put it before going to bed and by breakfast: hot jook/juk! In fact, thats what the pups are having for lunch today.

                        But if you insist, there is a place in K-town called "Bon Juk" which appears to serve lots and lots of jook/juk but we have yet to try it out. They are on the north side of Wilshire, between Normandie and Western, just next to BCD in the ground floor of the building. And then of course, there's Sam Woos in SGV which is quite tasty.

                        did someone say "turkey jook/juk"? hmmmmmm
                        Don't forget, at christmas there is "goose jook/juk" aka "christmas jook/juk" which comes but once a year, just like christmas........

                        1. I just wanted to say that I'm very jealous that you're in HK tasting all the great stuff for just pennies!! I can't wait to make a trip back there again.

                          As for my jook cravings, I go to Sam Woo (they're quick and easy) or the plentitude of HK-style cafes in Monterey Park/SG,

                          Baccali Cafe & Rotisserie in Alhambra too since they have a Jook section in their million items menu. :)

                          1. i like the porridge at pheonix a lot!

                            1. My favorite porridge jook is Har Lam Kee on Garvey in MPK (along with their rice sheet rolls & fried chinese donuts) ~ the one with beef slices & century egg is my fave.

                              Oddly enough, for a place that serves so many yummy chinese breakfast favorites, they don't open until 9AM.

                              150 E Garvey Ave
                              Monterey Park, CA 91755


                              1. They will have congee/juk at almost every dim sum, Hong Kong-style cafe, and Cantonese BBQ restaurant. However, if you want cha siu bao with it, you should go to a dim sum restaurant.

                                In Cantonese, it's more or less pronounced "pay don sul yuk juk." Here is my half-decent pronounciation guide:
                                pay: as in "pay me money"
                                don: as in "Don Rumsfeld", but pronounced with a high tone
                                sul: as in "Sullivan"
                                yuk: sounds like "book"
                                juk: sounds like "book"

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: raytamsgv

                                  I think Sam Woo BBQ also sells BBQ pork buns, at least the Rowland Heights one has it on display.

                                  The nice thing about juk is that they reheat well, so you can always stock up, and take them home for reheating for breakfast.

                                  It's my favorite food, especially when I'm sick.

                                  BTW, not all jook are equal - they differ in aroma and consistency. It can't be too watery, but it can't be gluelike either and you shouldn't see individual grains. Not sure why but I can never do it quite the same way as the ones at HK.

                                  There's a restaurant called Lu's Garden that is supposed to just sell juk with various toppings, but I've never been.

                                2. Uber:
                                  As "ladius" above suggested, I too would recommend SAN (Mountain)Cafe @ 8th & Catalina for your jook jones. SAN's been around for more than 25 years and is the go-to place for Koreans in search of food like their mama woulda made.
                                  K-Town and SGV may be equidistant to you. Anyway, Koreatown is _always_ fun, eh?

                                  1. maybe someone here can help. There's a place on Valley - east of new definitely, and on the sign in front (south side of the street) is an enormous character -

                                    Zhou1 (add that to the list above of jook/juk/congee/porridge/xi-fan)

                                    It's also the character for cantonese Juk.
                                    Well, anybody?

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Jerome

                                      You aren't referring to LU'S GARDEN, right (534 E. Valley Blvd., 626-280-5883)? Although they do have congee.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        maybe that is it. it's east but i guess it has the huge character.

                                    2. Alright, everyone is mentioning their favorite jook places, I'll add May Flower in Chinatown. They've been known for their jook for many years, ever since their original location on Alpine.(written up in the LA Times).

                                      Mayflower Restaurant
                                      685 N Spring St, Los Angeles, 90012
                                      (213) 625-0588

                                      Don't forget....Friday is turkey Jook day.(from your turkey carcass)
                                      Put the carcass in a pot, fill the pot with water, add a couple cups of uncooked rice, veggies like carrots, onions and celery or whatever you want-cover and simmer it for a couple hours and you got a great jook that you can even freeze.

                                      1. let me know if i am the only one, but i put the green onions on top and crunched up potato chips. ohhh it gives it great salty flavor......

                                        1. My house. My wife is Cantonese (San Francisco native), and we've been eating Jook since before we were married 22 years ago. I first had it the day after Thanksgiving at my mother-in-law's. Turkey jook is the best. We have it often. I'm sure my wife would give you the recipe. We live in Valley Village, not too far away from you. Don't know anywhere in the LA area that has jook, but that's not surprising, since we're orthodox Jews and could only eat out at kosher restaurants. But at home, we dine, and jook is one of our favorites. Oh, we didn't always keep kosher, of course, so we know what good jook tastes like.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: ganeden

                                            so does your wife's minhag allow for rice on Pesach?

                                            fish and pi-dan eggs make a great xifan/jook as well. And Happy Family is strict buddhist - no alcohol, meat, fish, etc. there are one or two dishes with dairy - but if not all your milk is halav yisra'el products it shouldn't be a problem. And they make a very nice jook.
                                            In monterey park. I've taken frum relatives there and they've enjoyed it.

                                            1. re: Jerome

                                              We're Ashkenazic, so we don't eat rice on Pesach. Because of the prohibition against "bishul akum", we cannot eat at unsupervised restaurants, or even restaurants under supervision services we don't trust. We don't like the kosher Chinese restaurants in Pico or Fairfax/LaBrea, so the only Chinese food we typically eat is at home.

                                              1. re: ganeden

                                                Have you tried the Chinese food at Golan, on Victory and Ethel? Their hashgacha is RCC, not sure what your requirements are. The Chinese food isn't bad, and I see both Orthodox and goyim eating there.

                                                1. re: ganeden

                                                  Bishul Akum - fine. You might want to ask your rav if bishul akum extends to food items which can be eaten raw - most of the vegetables used at happy famiy comply with this. There are many limitations of bishul akum which is why one can always ask. Some authorities allow fish, smoked and steamed foods, but I'm certainly not an authority.
                                                  Im curious, is there a good source of soy sauce and chinese style vinegar with a hekhsher in the valley? Today I saw some soy sauce brought in from israel at Ralph's in the kosher food section but I have no idea of its quality.

                                                  and some other sources allow porridge cooked by a non-jew as not falling under the provisions of bishul akum. One can always ask...

                                                  1. re: Jerome

                                                    San-J soy sauce, and the wheat-free is best. Pretty much any health food store, like Whole Foods. We don't have a source for black vinegar, unfortunately. Thanks for the globalyeshiva.com link.

                                              2. re: ganeden

                                                I agree home made jook is far superior to any restaurant bowl I've eaten. I love to make turkey jook, but I use a pressure cooker and cook the carcass with onion, celery, bay leaves, 5 cloves garlic, pepper for about 45 minutes. I then strain broth (I'm tired of almost choking on a bone) add the rice either cooked or uncooks and if uncooked, pressure cook it for about 5 minutes, cool off and unpressurize and then cook normally until done. While cooking, be sure to stir periodically so it doesn't burn and check liquid level. While cooking the rice, pick off the meat from the bones and return the boneless meat to the jook. Season as desired, but usually I'll add a hit of Thai chili garlic sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil. Also a bit of sweetened rice wine vinegar to give just a bit of a kick. Done in about 1 hour instead of 3-4 hours.

                                                That said, my absolute favorite jook is DUCK jook! Love that duck fat! Again, have to make it at home.

                                              3. Uber:
                                                There's a joint that specializes in jook just east of the Wilshire Blvd. BCD parking lot.
                                                Lotta pretty girls there too.

                                                PS All the pho places have rice porridge too.

                                                1. After a feast at Krua Thai my friend and I walked down to Bhan Kanam Thai for some sweets and I noticed that porridge was on the wall menu there. Have not tried it yet.