Japgokbap. It’s what Korean mom cook for their family throughout the week.
Japgokbap means “multi-grain” rice in Korean. It’s a mixture of rice, grains and beans.
If you eat Korean food regularly, you should consider switching to multigrain rice instead.
It’s much more nutritious than white rice. White rice is stripped of its husk, bran and germ as its processed. This means most of its nutrition is removed as well.
But Daniel… white rice is tasty!
I agree – white rice doesn’t have that grisly whole-grain texture and it’s very east to digest.
The idea of Japgokbap is to keep the white rice, but increase its nutritional value by adding whole-grains and beans.
What should I include in my Japgokbap mix?
(1) Start with a base layer of white rice.
You can use the normal short-grain, white rice we always use in Korean cooking (pronounced as meppsal -멥살 in Korean).
But I would highly recommend using glutinous short-grain, white rice for Japgokbap (pronounced as chapssal – 찹쌀 in Korean).
Glutinous white rice releases much more starch at cooking temperature than regular white rice. As a result, the grains get stickier and clump up together – very tasty!
(2) Add in brown rice:
You can use normal short-grain, brown rice (pronounced as hyunmi – 현미쌀 in Korean).
But again, if you can find gluntinous short grain, brown rice (pronounced as chapssal hyunmi – 찹쌀현미), use it instead!
(3) Select 1 or more multi-grains
- Sorghum (수수)
- Millet (기장)
(4) Select 1 or more beans
- Black Beans (검은팥)
- Chickpeas (밤콩)
- Kidney beans
It’s up to you – select what you like!
Typically in Korea, they include 5 grains. This is also known as Ogok-bap (오곡밥).
The tricky thing with Japgokbap is knowing how much water to add.
With short-grain, white rice, we say to use a 1:1 ratio of rice-to-water.
But brown rice typically requires more water to cook. Same with millet and the beans. This can get complicated quickly…
So, let’s keep it simple by pre-soaking!
For the rice and multi-grains – I recommend mixing the rice, sorghum and millet together and pre-soaking for at least 2 hours. (Doesn’t have to be exact – can leave for longer)
For the beans – I recommend pre-soaking them for at least 3-4 hours (even better if you soak them overnight).
Once the ingredients are pre-soaked, combine them all together. Then use the 1:1 ratio of grain-to-water when cooking the rice.
(In our recipe, we use a total of 2 cups of rice. So we added 2 cups of water when cooking)
After you cook it, see how the rice turns out. If needed, you can then add a bit more water in the next batch.
Note: If you’ll cook the rice in a pot (as opposed to a rice cooker), find a pot with a thick bottom. This will help distribute the heat and prevent any hot-spots from scorching the rice.
Also, after the rice comes to a boil, make sure to reduce the heat to a low!
Alright, happy eats ya’ll!
Daniel out! 🕺
Japgokbap - Multigrain Rice
White Rice (TOTAL OF 1 CUP)
- 1 cup Short grain white rice (멥쌀) white rice (멥쌀) - 1 cup
Mixed Rice & Grains (TOTAL OF 1 CUP)
- Handful of Short grain, glutinous rice (찹쌀)
- Handful of Short grainm, brown rice (현미쌀)
- Handful of Sorghum (수수 or 찰수수)
- Handful of Millet (기장 or 찰기장)
- 2 cups of Water
- 1.5 Tablespoons Glutinous Black Rice (흑미쌀)
- A Handful of Black Adzuki beans (팥)
Make multi-grain mix
- Take out a large mixing bowl. Pour equal amounts of each multi-grain into a bowl. Mix it all together with your hand. Store the multi-grain mix in a Tupperware.
- Note: Do not add the black rice or black Adzuki beans into the multi-grain mix - keep each in a separate bag.
Soak grains & beans
- Measure 1 cup of your multi-grain mix and pour into a mixing bowl. Rinse and wash the multi-grains 2x under running water. Finally, cover the mix with water.
- Let the mix sit and soak for at least 3 hours.
- Repeat this for your beans. Let the beans soak for at least 3 hours as well
- Note: It may be easier to soak the rice and beans overnight - rather than waiting 3 hours during the day!
- Add 1 cup of short grain white rice to the mixing bowl with the soaking multi-grain mix.
- Then add a handful of the soaked beans into the bowl as well.
- Finally, add 1.5 Tablespoons of the black rice into the bowl. Give it a thorough mix with your hand.
- Then, pour the wet rice mixture into a strainer. Discard the remaining water.
- Then, take out a thick-bottomed pot. Place the mixed rice in. Pour in 2 cups of fresh cold water. Put a lid on. Then place the pot on a medium-high heat and bring it to a boil.
- Once you hear it boiling, lift the lid and quickly mix the rice with a spoon.
- Then, place the lid back on and reduce the heat to a low (simmer). Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Then take it off the stovetop. And let it sit by itself for 10 minutes. This is an important step - the rice will steam in the residual heat.
- After 10 minutes, the rice should be ready. Eat alongside a bowl of banchan!
- Note: If rice seems undercooked, close the lid and let it sit for longer in the pot. However, if the pot has lot most of its heat, place it back on the stove-top and cook for longer on a low heat.
- You don't have to make your own custom mix. Korean marts will sell multi-grain mixes.
- If you want to save the rice, put it into ziploc bags and freeze right after cooking.
- See video for more details
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