Korean Vegetable Porridge (Yachae Jook)

korean porridge
SUNGSU HAN / Getty Images
Ratings (25)
  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Soak: 90 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
240 Calories
4g Fat
44g Carbs
7g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Just like many rice or noodles, there are a million and one variations on this Korean porridge recipe. This is a vegetarian jook (rice porridge) recipe that is deceptively delicious. Vegetables and rice can make for a soothing, fragrant meal-in-a-bowl. 

This Korean porridge recipe calls for onion, carrot, and radish, but you can also swap for zucchini, mushrooms, or any vegetables you like. 

Jook or juk (rice porridge) is a Korean dish meant to conserve rice and to soothe sick, young, or elderly bellies. It's still enjoyed as a snack, as breakfast or another light meal, or as comfort food for the sick. Pat jook is smooth and mild with a subtle sweetness, but can also be eaten without sugar in place of regular white rice.

Juk accounts for a substantial portion of Korean food. Even in ancient literature, about 40 kinds of rice porridge are described. There is a wide variety of porridge, such as huinjuk (made with only rice and water) and gokmuljuk (grain porridge made with red beans, barley, and rice), tarakjuk (rice porridge mixed with milk), yeolmaejuk (rice porridge mixed with pine nuts, walnuts, and jujubes), and gogijuk (rice porridge with beef or chicken added). These days, juk no longer serves as a survival food in emergencies; it is now more highly prized as gourmet or energizing food with the addition of expensive ingredients such as ginseng and abalone. In luxurious Korean restaurants, it is included as one of the courses in a full-course set menu, just like the soup course in Western restaurants. Also, juk is very popular today as diet food. 

People in the southern areas like Guangdong Province mainly cultivate rice, so they eat rice porridge for breakfast more often than people in the north, who mainly cultivate wheat. There is quite a wide variety of different rice porridges according to the ingredients, which are either mixed in or added as a garnish, but the two main categories are huinjuk (made from rice and water) and jaejuk (rice boiled with meat or fish).

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup carrot
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1/2 cup radish
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
  • 2 to 3 cups of vegetable soup stock​
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Soak rice for at least 90 minutes. Drain well.

  2. In a large pot, heat the sesame oil over medium heat.

  3. Saute onions, carrots, and radish for 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Add the rice and stir fry everything together for another minute.

  5. Add the soup stock and bring up to a boil.

  6. Immediately reduce everything to simmer and cook at medium-low heat for about 30 minutes.

  7. Stir everything and then continue to cook for about 10 more minutes. 

  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.