The Trattoria Project and Spectaculars: Jook.

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Monday, January 21, 2008


Since seven days ago, the existence of 'Jook' had given me the will to put up with the mother of all excruciating pain that is the aftermath of my adult tonsillectomy. 'Jook' is my new best friend because it is possibly the most nutritious and delicious thing to fit into my insane post-tonsillectomy diet. Everything that goes into my mouth has to be soften, liquified, be of a low temperature and must not be acidic. Otherwise, it will induce a throat pain intense enough to make me cry. Like when I had lemonade on Thursday because I thought I could use some vitamin C, then I started tearing literally and realized that the doctor's advice was actually making some sense. I couldn't be more stupid.

I cried and jumped from my seat on Friday when I took a sip of Whisky and that was the last time I ever had to go through such anal throbbing pain because it finally made me believe the doctor's advice.

Relying on 'Jook' has enlightened me and have me to realize the true facts in life like how Jesus hates us all. That is only if he existed with godly powers. I figured that if anyone had to go through this pain, they won't need Jesus, not at all, because he is not helping us with the slightest bit, but they will definitely need something else ungodly like 'Jook.' And for all the times when we are absolutely not in pain or need, he will come up to you and help you with imaginary ways and make you praise him.

For example, you just got your month's paycheck from your boss, then you step out of the office and something made you look down on the floor and you magically stumble upon a shinny penny and you look up the sky and whisper, 'Thank you, Jesus.' Or when you need to take a bus home and suddenly piles of vacant cabs drive towards the road beside the bus stop, you smile and say 'Jesus is my provider!'

Then when you'd actually need help like when you are experiencing sheer demonic throat pain from a tonsillectomy, you get thrown with some same old bullshit excuse that goes like: 'He works in ways you cannot see. He will make a way for you.' Being the good guy that I am, I have taken the liberty to meditate in that message and found out that it actually translates to a very special and meaningful message through godly vision. It says - 'Hallelujah Amen Jehovah Tonguespeaks! Manawakikichukapunkamukaarkapunga! Kuradamadedededada... Jesus is not around right now but please go to church and leave a message then donate because Jesus is lord. He created this thing called time and it heals everything. Jehovah Buhbye. Amen Hallelujah. Hakunamata!'

In case you're still wondering what 'Jook' is, it is the English pronunciation of the Cantonese word that means, Congee, which is a rice porridge often stewed with meat and preserved vegetables or herbs. I used the word 'Jook' because I think it's cool. If you don't like it or think it's stupid please get lost because I think Cantonese words are unique and chicks who speak Cantonese are sexy.

'Jook' has no acid, is all liquid, has lots of fiber to counter my constipation from my enormous Codeine intake but most importantly, it can be enjoyed lukewarm. Day one of post surgery I had 'Jook' with ginger and century egg, the preserved egg used in Fear Factor that I would gladly finish an entire basket of, I bought this from a stall because my anesthesia hasn't worn off and it was absolutely creamy and warm and delicious. Being a true Asian myself, I wasn't hesitant to have pork innard 'Jook' for another three days. I love pork liver especially because it melts in your mouth with luscious richness and flavor, think Foie with intense pig flavor. I had also pork belly, skin and intestines. I like belly and skin because of its gelatinous texture but intestines I would eat them once in a three months because sometimes they are all powdery inside and it makes me gag.

Then I made some myself. It was delicious - 'Jook' with Braised Spareribs and Liver, so post the recipe for everyone to try. Feel free to omit the liver if you are not a fan.

My Jook.

Mise en Place
serves 6

3 cups Short Grained Rice, rinsed and drained
100g Ginger, peeled and julienne half of it
5 sprigs Spring Onion, finely chop two
1 liter Chicken Stock, plus more
3 medium Conpoys
6 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
300g Spareribs
200g Pork Liver, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp Shaoxing Wine
3 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp Cornstarch
Sesame Oil
Peanut Oil
White Pepper
Sea Salt


Steam conpoy in water, 10g ginger and a sprig of spring onion for 20 mins, flake. Coat pot with a thin layer of oil. Boil rice in stock with half the whole ginger and conpoy. Simmer until soft and creamy. About an hour.

Braised Spareribs and Liver

Season rib and coat with cornstarch. Over high heat, brown rib and julienne ginger with peanut oil.
Color them nicely. Deglaze with Shaoxing wine and a little chicken stock. Low heat. Add both soy sauce, half of the garlic, white pepper and a touch of sesame oil. Simmer for an hour.
Cook liver in simmering sauce for 5 mins just before serving.

Garlic Oil
Lightly fry the rest of the garlic until golden brown.

To serve, ladle congee in a bowl and top with spareribs and liver. Drizzle sauce and sprinkle finely chopped spring onion and garlic oil.


Jen said...

Thats a really cute name :)

Uncledee said...

I didn't know that. Thanks.

jen said...

Actually, i was refering to the name of that rice porridge.

Uncledee said...

Oh. *walks away*