anyone that has spent any time in hong kong knows that jook (also known as congee) is a cantonese classic for breakfast and brunch. like i said, i never grew up eating oatmeal, but you'd often find a steaming hot bowl of jook cooked by grandma or my mom at the breakfast table. jook is served all over china, because it's essentially peasant food. it stretches a cup of rice to a substantial meal for a family of four. at it's plainest, jook is just rice porridge, watered down rice. it can be dressed up a little with some soy sauce or black vinegar or a lot with some braised meats. my favorite version of jook (and perhaps the most classic) is made with lean pork loin and two kinds of eggs: thousand year old preserved and salted. and i can't have jook without it's most important accompaniment, dough sticks - deep fried goodness at it's tastiest.
pork jook with thousand year old preserved eggs & salted eggs
serves 4 to 6
1 lb. lean pork loin
lots of salt
12 cups of water
1 cup of rice
3 thousand year old preserved eggs (pictured below and found in any asian grocers)
2 salted eggs
1 handful of cilantro or 2 stalks of green onion, chopped
1 dough stick, toasted and sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces (can also be found at any asian grocers)
red or black vinegar, soy sauce, freshly ground pepper for seasoning
heavily salt 1 lb. of lean pork loin, and when i say heavily, i mean heavily. give the pork plenty of time to absorb the seasoning, anywhere from two hours to overnight. when pork has been marinated, place salted pork loin into a stockpot or a dutch oven and cover with twelve cups of water. bring to a boil and then lower heat keeping the water at a simmer. cook pork slowly at a simmer for forty-five minutes and then remove from water. set aside and let cool.
pour in one cup of rice and bring water back to a boil. lower heat to keep water at a heavy simmer. cook rice for two to two and a half hours. when it's ready the rice will start to break up and become incredibly soft and creamy.
while the rice is cooking, slice up pork and eggs. for the pork, use a fork to break up cooled piece of pork. the pork should fall apart, like a piece of braised meat.
once the rice is the right consistency, add shredded pork and eggs. garnish with cilantro, dough stick pieces and then season to your liking with soy sauce, vinegar and/or freshly grounded pepper.
eat piping hot!