Rice porridges (jook) are a popular part of Korean cuisine. Eaten as a light breakfast, a warm snack, or what Koreans call "well-being" food, porridge comes in both sweet and savory varieties. The basic way of making porridge is explained here. Feel free to try variations of your own. You can make sweet versions with red beans or pumpkin, and savory porridges with abalone, clams, or whatever you like. This elegant porridge makes a lovely appetizer for a dinner party or a hearty breakfast.
Serves 4


  • 1 cup short-grain rice
  • About 4 cups water, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup black sesame seeds
  • Toasted pine nuts for garnish
  • Sugar or honey for serving
  • Salt for serving


Soak the rice in water to cover for at least 2 hours or overnight. Drain.

In a blender or food processor, grind the rice with 1 cup of the water, adding more water a tablespoon at a time if needed. Add the sesame seeds and process until the mixture becomes a chunky paste, adding more water if needed.

Put the black rice mixture in a medium pan and stir in about 3 cups water. Let simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up any lumps as needed. Reduce the heat and let simmer an additional 10 to 15 minutes, stirring more frequently as the porridge thickens. It should be the consistency of oatmeal.

Divide the porridge among 4 individual bowls and sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve warm with sugar or honey and salt on the side.

Note: If the porridge seems to be taking a long time to thicken, add a teaspoon or two of rice flour to thicken.

From Quick & Easy Korean Cooking (Chronicle Books) by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee.


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