Kabocha and Pork Jook


2 1/2 quart water
2 tbsp chicken bouillon
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 cup rice

1/2 cup pork
1 cup diced cabbage
1/4 cup diced onion
1 cup chunks of kabocha
Diced green onion or chives

white pepper
seasame oil

I know it seems strange to add kabocha to jook, but it is amazing! My family has always had a pretty extensive vegetable garden and when the season came around for harvesting our kabocha or japanese pumpkin, my dad would always make soups with it.  In my adult life I have grown quite fond of kabocha, especially roasted. The color is so beautiful. My dad would add the kabocha into soup even into xi fan (aka jook).   His jook was more on the sweet than the savory side.    Jook is an ultimate comfort food for me. I hope you like this combination as much as I do!

Saute diced onion in at least a 4 quart pot. I would highly recommend a thick pot.

Pour water, chicken bouillon, and ginger. Bring to a light simmer. Add a cup of rice.
Let all come to a boil and then simmer. Add half of the kabocha.

In a separate pan (or you can do this first and then set it aside) Brown pork, add some shoyu for some flavor. Add to jook.

The trick is to let the rice cook for a long time on very low heat. Patience and love is necessary for a good pot of jook. Cook for at least an hour.  At the 30 minute mark add more kabocha and at 45 minutes, add the cabbage.

Add shoyu to taste. Finish with white pepper and drizzle with seasme oil. I like my jook on the thicker side and my rice broken down into tiny morsels ono-ness. If you don’t know about white pepper, it’s really great in soups and you can find it in most Chinatowns.

P.S. This is also a great thing to cook in an electric pressure cooker, you can cut the cooking time in half.. you just don’t have as much love in it ;).

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