Korean Vegetable Porridge (Yachae Jook)

Korean Vegetable Porridge (Yachae Jook)

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Soak: 90 mins
Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
240 Calories
4g Fat
44g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 240
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 391mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 7g
Calcium 33mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Like many rice or noodle dishes, there are a million and one variations on this Korean vegetable porridge. This deceptively delicious vegetarian jook (rice porridge) recipe is just one way it's made and consists of vegetables and rice, making for a soothing, fragrant meal-in-a-bowl. 

Jook or juk (rice porridge) is a Korean dish that was made to stretch rice and to soothe sick, young, or elderly bellies. It is enjoyed as a snack, breakfast, a light meal, or as comfort food for the ill. Smooth and mild with a subtle sweetness, this easy-to-digest porridge can also be eaten without sugar in place of regular white rice.

A hugely popular dish in Korea, and the mainstay meal during hardships and illness, nowadays, jook is highly prized as gourmet or energizing food, with the addition of expensive ingredients—such as ginseng and abalone. In upscale Korean restaurants, rice porridge is included as one of the courses in a full-course set menu—just like the soup course in Western restaurants. Jook is also very popular today as diet food. 

While this creamy Korean porridge recipe calls for onion, carrot, and radish, you can swap them out for zucchini, mushrooms, or any vegetables you like. Enjoy this rice porridge on its own or paired with other Korean favorites, such as baechu kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage), dongchimi (Korean white radish), or bossam (Korean pork belly).

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped radish
  • 2 to 3 cups vegetable soup stock
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Korean Vegetable Porridge (Yachae Jook) ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Soak the rice for at least 90 minutes. Drain well.

    Soak rice in water

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

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

    Sesame oil in a pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Sauté the onion, carrot, and radish for 2 to 3 minutes.

    Sauté the onion, carrot, and radish

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

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

    Rice and vegetables cooking in the pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Add the soup stock and bring to a boil.

    Stock added to the rice and vegetable mixture in the pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Immediately reduce to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes.

    Rice and vegetables cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  8. Stir and continue to cook for about 10 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

    Salt and pepper added to the rice and vegetables in the pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  9. Serve and enjoy.

    Korean Vegetable Porridge (Yachae Jook)

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Tips

  • Leftover juk can be kept in an airtight container for up to five days in the fridge. When reheating, you might need to add a bit of water or stock to get a similar consistency as when it was first made.
  • Don't hesitate to add some of your favorite veggies to the mix—mushrooms, broccoli, or green beans are all good additions.

Jook and the Many Varieties of this Popular Rice Porridge

Accounting for a substantial portion of Korean food, there are about 40 kinds of rice porridge described in ancient literature. Today, there is a wide variety of jook, such as huinjuk (made with only rice and water) and jaejuk (rice boiled with meat or fish), the two most popular variations. But there's also 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).


People in the southern areas of Korea mainly cultivate rice, so they eat rice porridge for breakfast more often than people in the north, who mainly cultivate wheat.

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