A warming savoury rice porridge, jok, or congee, is a common breakfast and late-night supper in Thailand.
- 450 g (1 lb) jasmine rice
- 3 litres (3 quarts) pork stock, plus extra if necessary
- fine sea salt, to taste
- 4 eggs
- freshly ground white pepper, to serve
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
- 15 g (½ oz) young ginger, peeled and julienned
- coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 10 whole white peppercorns
- 400 g (14 oz) minced (ground) pork
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time: 3 hours
- First, prepare the pork meatballs. In a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and white peppercorns into a fine paste. Add the minced pork and pound until homogenised, then add the remaining meatball ingredients and mix well. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator to marinate for a minimum of 3 hours.
- Meanwhile, rinse the rice once or twice and strain through a mesh sieve to remove excess moisture. Using a blender or a mortar and pestle, process or pound the rice to a medium–fine consistency.
- In a large stockpot or saucepan over high heat, combine the broken rice and pork stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot, until the mixture becomes creamy. If the jok is too thick, add more pork stock or water as needed.
- Take 1 tablespoon of the marinated pork mixture and roll it into a meatball using wet hands, repeating the process until all of the pork has been used. Add the meatballs to the jok and simmer for 10–15 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Season with salt to taste.
- Meanwhile, bring a saucepan half-filled with water to the boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 1 minute. Place the eggs in the saucepan and leave uncovered for 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a bowl of cold or iced water to cool for a minimum of 5 minutes.
- Divide the jok among four bowls and crack an egg into each one. Garnish with white pepper, sesame oil, spring onion, ginger and coriander leaves, to taste.
Recipe and images from Bangkok Local by Sareen Rojanametin and Jean Thamthanakorn, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99