This thicker, vegetarian take on traditional Chinese rice porridge is just as comforting and simple to make. The brown rice gives the jook a hearty, nutty flavor, and stirring in gai lan at the end adds some texture and sweetness to this light, healthy dish.
What to buy: Gai lan, also known as Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale, is a dark green leafy vegetable with stems that are crisp and slightly sweet. If you can’t find gai lan, substitute broccolini.
Game plan: Feel free to add more garnishes like soy sauce, fried shallots, or roasted salted peanuts to spice up this dish. And if you want to include some protein, roasted tofu makes a good addition; you could also swirl in a beaten egg as the porridge cooks.
For a white rice version, try this congee recipe.
- Yield: 4 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: About 25 mins, plus 1 1/2 hrs cooking time
- 8 cups water
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup long-grain brown rice
- 1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, skin on and sliced into 2 pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- Pinch freshly ground white pepper, plus more as needed
- 4 ounces gai lan (also known as Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale), ends trimmed and very thinly sliced crosswise
- Place all ingredients except the gai lan in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, uncovered, at a lively simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice has completely broken down and the mixture is creamy, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Turn off the heat, add the gai lan, and stir until combined and the leaves are wilted. Let sit until the residual heat cooks the gai lan stems to crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.