Jook with Bacon

1 cup short-grain rice
2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade, or water
1 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 pound slab bacon, optional
Soy sauce or salt to taste
1/4 cup crispy cooked bacon, minced, optional
1/4 cup minced scallions
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, optional
Sesame oil for drizzling, optional


I usually make jook in the afternoon, simmering it gently and stirring it occasionally, eating a little that night but saving most for the morning ? despite its simplicity, it doesn?t keep well for much longer than that. You could also make it overnight in a slow cooker.
Ingredients

* 1 cup short-grain rice
* 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade, or water
* 1 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
* 1/4 pound slab bacon, optional
* Soy sauce or salt to taste
* 1/4 cup crispy cooked bacon, minced, optional
* 1/4 cup minced scallions
* 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, optional
* Sesame oil for drizzling, optional

Method

* 1. Wash rice, and put it in a stock pot with chicken stock or water. Place over high heat until stock boils, then add about 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, and turn heat to low. Partly cover pot, simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water as necessary (probably about 2 cups more).
* 2. Add ginger and slab bacon, and simmer for an hour more or so. Jook should have a porridgelike consistency. If it becomes very thick, add water. When done, jook will be soupy and creamy, like loose oatmeal.
* 3. Remove slab bacon, and serve jook in individual bowls. Season with salt or soy sauce, then garnish with minced bacon, scallions and peanuts. Drizzle with sesame oil if desired.

Variations

* For jook with vegetables, Step 1 remains the same. In Step 2, omit bacon. Soak 4 or 5 dried black (shiitake) mushrooms in hot water until softened, then remove stems, and chop. Add them to mix, along with ginger and 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced, and a large pinch of salt. When jook is almost done, stir in 1 cup fresh or frozen peas, and cook 10 minutes or so more. Proceed as above.
* Jook with meat: Step 1 remains the same. In Step 2, about 15 minutes before jook is done, add 1/2 pound sliced uncooked sirloin or 1/2 pound sliced uncooked chicken breast or 1/2 pound crumbled uncooked ground or sliced pork. Proceed as above.
* Jook with seafood and cilantro: Step 1 remains the same. In Step 2, during last 10 minutes of simmering, add 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and roughly chopped, or 1/2 pound whitefish fillets, skinned and sliced (or use both shrimp and fish). Proceed as above, adding at least 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves for garnish.