RICE PORRIDGE: COMFORT FOOD, GOOD FOR THE SOUL
Today I had a big bowl of rice porridge with salted egg and pork, plus a yautiu.
Happy and filled for four bucks. Can't beat that.
Rice porridge (jook) is one of those things that movie-goers associate with late night snacking (食宵夜) in Hong Kong. Taiwanese and northerners often have jook for breakfast, and Cantonese people will eat it whenever it seems right to do so.
It's simple, nourishing, very satisfying.
There are of course different types. Some far more high-fallutin' than others.
Not all places that do jook will have an extensive variety, and often what is offered is plain white jook (白粥) and two or three other kinds.
Still, enough places serve jook that one should never be far from a warm happy feeling.
TYPES OF JOOK
柴魚花生粥 tsai-yu faa-sang juk: dried fish and fried peanuts rice porridge.
火鴨粥 fo ngaap juk: rice porridge with roast duck.
爽滑肉丸粥) song gwat yiuk yuen juk: rice porridge with pork meat balls.
猪肝粥 chu gon juk: pork liver rice porridge.
生滾肉片粥 sang gwan yiuk pien juk: jook with sliced pork cooked by the heat of the porridge.
生滾蝦球粥 sang gwan ha kau juk: jook with fresh shrimp cooked by the heat of the porridge.
皮蛋瘦肉粥 pei dan sau yiuk juk: preserved egg and lean pork rice porridge. [A personal favourite.]
碎牛粥 sui ngau juk: rice porridge with minced beef.
艇仔粥 tang chai juk: rice porridge with squid, fried pork skin, ground meat, peanuts, crispy noodle bits.
蠔豉瘦肉粥 ho si sau yiuk juk: dried oysters and lean pork rice porridge.
豬紅粥 chu hong juk: rice porridge with cubes of gelled pig's blood.
雞球粥 kai kau juk: chicken rice porridge.
香菇肉鬆粥 heung gu ngau song juk: black mushrooms and pork floss rice porridge.
魚片粥 yu pin juk: fish curls rice porridge.
鮑魚滑雞粥 bao yu kwat kai juk: abalone and chicken rice porridge.
鮑魚粥 bau yu juk: abalone rice porridge.
One type of jook which is strictly home-style, and only in the United States, is 火雞粥 (foh-kai juk): rice porridge with left-over turkey from Thanksgiving, and precisely like the roast turkey itself and football, too much will make you sleepy.
It's a very American Chinese dish; elsewhere in the world turkey is hardly eaten, seldom loved.
[油條 (yau tiu) is a long strip of puffy dough deep fried, very light and airy, that goes well with rice porridge. 生滾 (sang gwan), means 'fresh boiled', indicating that whatever was added to the piping hot rice porridge is poached in the heat thereof. 艇仔 (tang chai) is a small boat or sampan, such as Ratty and Mole used on the river in Wind in the Willows.]
Why did I need jook?
Einfach; my apartment mate stayed at home today with a severe nose-cold. She's grumpy when sick, and what cheers her up is chatting on the phone with her boy friend. No sane man wants to listen to that. It simply highlights that some of us do not have anyone special in our life, and hearing the love in her voice while she talks to him is both depressing and nauseating.
Whereas witnessing someone at a restaurant on Stockton street fiercely coughing while scarfing down the rice-plate special, along with others happily ordering one more serving of something cheap and scrumptious if you please - heck, the entire ambiance of happy people NOT talking to their lovers - is an immense improvement.
Note, by the way, that the post about dimsum which contains the names in Chinese with their pronunciation has been updated.
Dimsum is also comfort food, but far better eaten in company.
Jook is solitary.
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