Korean Doenjang & Spinach Rice Porridge. Growing up, we always had some type of Jjigae (Korean stew) at the dinner table. Often times, it was traditional Doenjang Jjigae. The next morning – long after my mom had gone to work – I liked to wake-up slow and eventually fix my favorite breakfast! I would quickly re-heat the leftover doenjang stew. Then on the side, crack 2 eggs into a frying pan and scramble them up. When the stew came to boil, I would drop in a few scoops of fresh rice. Then the scrambled eggs and give it all a good mix. Simple but so hearty and comfortable. This was and still is my definition of Korean soul food. So today, I wanted to re-create this childhood dish with a little twist – and a handful of spinach!
I got this recipe from Chef Baek Jong Won. I loved the idea of combining spinach with a doenjang-based rice porridge (also known as jook). My favorite part of this dish is that the potato pieces release its starch into the broth as it slowly simmers. The earthy doenjang flavor mixed with hint of potato flavor is amazing. Furthermore, this rice porridge is not heavy on seasoning. In fact, you may find it slightly bland. But it’s nice this way – and perfect for when cooking when you’re feeling under the weather.
I hope you fix yourself a bowl and have a few moments to reflect on the year! We – at Future Neighbor – are blessed to have built an audience on the internet that we can cook along with and also share our learnings/mishaps on this crazy adventure… called life!
-Daniel out 🙃🕺
Spinach & Doenjang Rice Porridge
- 3 Tablespoons Minced Beef (Or Minced Pork, Or Minced Mushrooms)
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 1 Cup Cooked Short-Grain Rice
- 4 Cup Water
- 2 Tablespoons Doenjang Paste
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic (Or 3 Cloves of Garlic)
- 1/2 cup Finely diced potatoes (1 medium-sized potato)
- 1/2 cup Finely diced onion (Or use 1/2 a whole onion)
- 2 Large Handfuls of Spinach
- 2-3 stalks Spring Onion (Each, forearm-sized length)
Simple Bacon & Cabbage Stir-fry
- 1/4 head of Green Cabbage
- 5-6 strips of Bacon
- Few slices of Red Chili Pepper (Optional)
- Few shakes of Salt (Optional)
- Few shakes of Black Pepper (Optional)
Spinach & Doenjang Rice Porridge
- Take out a large pot. Place-in both the Vegetable Oil (1 Tablespoon) and Sesame Oil (1 Tablespoon). Place the pot on a medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, place in the Minced Beef (3 Tablespoons). Stir-fry it for 1 minute. Then add in the Cooked Short-Grain Rice (1 cup) and continue to stir-fry until the meat loses its red color. Then add in Water (4 cups).
- Next, add-in the Doenjang Paste (2 Tablespoons). Then the Minced Garlic (1 Tablespoon). While we wait for the pot to boil, let's prep a few veggies.
- Finely dice 1/2 an onion and 1 medium-sized potatoes. Cut them into very small pieces (reference the video). Together, the two should come out to a total of 1 cup. Add it to the stew.
- Now reduce the pot to a medium-heat and let the broth boil away and reduce (without a lid) for about 15-20 minutes.
- In the meanwhile, give the spinach (2 large handfuls) a thorough rinse. Give the spinach a few chops. Then also chop the spring onion stalks into thin circles as well.
- After 15-20 minutes of boiling, the broth should have reduced and have the consistency of a porridge. (Note: If it has reduced too much, simply add in few dashes of water). If the consistency is good, add in the chopped spinach (2 large handfuls). Carefully fold the spinach into the porridge. Then add-in the spring onion slices. Let the spinach boil away for 2 minutes so it turns soft. Turn off the heat.
- Plate the porridge into bowls and top bowls off with sesame seeds. (Optional: You can add a few drops of soy sauce to each bowl if you want it more seasoned)
Simple Bacon & Cabbage Stir-Fry
- Cut bacon pieces into small sections. Chop the green cabbage (1/4 a whole) into bite-sized pieces. Place a frying pan on high heat. When its hot, add the bacon and cook the bacon until you get a nice crispy edge.
- Then add-in the cabbage pieces. As well as the chopped chili peppers (optional). Stir-fry until the cabbage starts to sweat and turn slightly translucent. (Note: Don't stir-fry too long - just until they start to sweat)
- Give it a taste. Feel free to season it with a few pinches of salt and black pepper.