Korean

Jatjuk – Pine Nut Porridge


One fine day, I came across jatjuk 잣죽 at Maangchi’s website. What else? I quickly added it to my to-try list. Jatjuk 잣죽 means pine nut porridge. Jat 잣 is pine nut while juk 죽 is porridge. And yes, porridge in Cantonese is chuk/juk. It immediately got me wondering about its taste (combination of pine nuts & rice is new to me). Hmm… 🤔 What kind of experience will it evoke? Are you curious too? Keep on reading.

Jatjuk 잣죽 - Pine Nut Porridge
Jatjuk 잣죽 or pine nut porridge is comfort food. It’ll warm you inside out.

Let’s cook!

In my opinion, making jatjuk is fairly simple and easy.

Short-Grain Rice
We start by soaking the short-grain rice. Place the rice in a bowl and add water to cover it. Allow the rice to soak for an hour or two.

Soaked Short-Grain Rice
After the hour is up, rinse the rice and drain it well. This is the soaked short-grain rice. Notice that the pre-soaked translucent rice has turned white & expanded after soaking.

Pine Nuts
The pine nuts can be used as is but for this Korean recipe, the tip of the pine nut is removed due to aesthetic reason. This step is optional.

Remove Pine Nuts Tips
To remove the tip, simply pinch the top as shown in the photo.

Pine Nuts (Tips Removed)
Pine nuts with their tips removed.

Put the pine nuts and soaked short-grain rice in the blender. Add 180ml water and blend until the pine nuts and rice have broken down to a fine texture. Depending on our preference, you can also make it coarse.

Cook Blended Pine Nuts & Short Grain-Rice
Pour the mixture with its residue and the remaining 180ml water into a saucepan and cook over medium heat. I used a claypot, hence I cook it over medium low heat and later turn it to low heat.

With a wooden spoon, stir slowly and continuously to avoid clumping and sticking. If the residue does clump up, no worry. Continue stirring while breaking the clumps apart with the spoon. You can also use a whisk to loosen the clumps. Once the porridge becomes thick and starts to bubbles, add sea salt. You can also opt to add the salt right before eating as we do have a personal preference on how salty we want our food to be. It’s your call.

Turn the heat to medium low and continue stirring until the porridge becomes thinner and a little liquidy. Yes, the consistency will change from thick to thin. Turn off the heat, transfer it to a large bowl and garnish with a couple of pine nuts. Serve immediately. Kindly note that this recipe is for a thick porridge. For a thinner consistency, please add more water.

Jatjuk 잣죽 - Pine Nut Porridge
Jatjuk 잣죽 is ❤️❤️❤️. It’s very smooth, creamy and mild. Ohh and delicious!

Jatjuk 잣죽 - Pine Nut Porridge
The taste & fragrance of the pine nuts are subtle in this jatjuk because the amount of pine nuts used is minimal. I love it though. However, I’m also curious how it’ll be if I add more pine nuts which I’ll try the next time.

Jatjuk 잣죽 - Pine Nut Porridge
How do you eat jatjuk? Eat it as is especially for elderly, recuperating or unwell person, have no appetite and when having dental problem like toothache. Usually, Koreans pair it with kimchi and dongchimi. You can also have it with side dishes of your choice. Adding sugar is also another option.

When I made it, I ate it with bacon, luncheon meat, century duck egg, salted duck egg and sprinkles of sesame seeds and it was heavenly! It felt like eating the good ole Chinese plain porridge except this one has a slight nuttiness and is so creamy.

Give it a try!

Jatjuk – Pine Nut Porridge
Adapted from Maangchi.com
Serves 1

110g short-grain rice
20g pine nuts, tips removed + extra for garnish
360ml water
1/2 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or to taste

Method:
1. Soak short-grain rice in a bowl of water for about 1-2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, remove the tips of the pine nuts and set them aside.

3. Rinse and drain the soaked short-grain rice.

4. Put the pine nuts, soaked short-grain rice and 180ml of water in the blender and blend until the nuts and rice are fine. You can also opt for a coarse texture.

5. Pour the mixture (including the residue) into a saucepan and add the remaining 180ml water. Cook the mixture over medium heat and stir slowly with a wooden spoon continuously. I used a claypot and cook it over medium low heat.

6. The residue may clump up during cooking due to the starch. Continue stirring while breaking it apart with the wooden spoon. Alternatively, use a whisk to loosen the lumps.

7. Add sea salt when the porridge thickens and begins bubbling. Lower the heat to medium low (low if using claypot) and keep stirring. You also have the choice of adding the salt to taste later before eating the porridge according to personal taste.

8. When the porridge gets thinner and a little liquidy, turn off the heat and put the hot porridge in a large bowl. Garnish with some pine nuts before serving it. This recipe makes a thick porridge. If you want a thinner consistency, kindly add more water.

Enjoy!

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