Japgokbap. It is the preferred rice to cook for among Korean moms. It contains a variety of multigrains like millet, beans and other wild grains. If you eat rice regularly, consider tying this multigrain rice. It is a much more nutritious and healthier option than plain white rice.
White rice is stripped of its husk, bran and germ. So most of its nutrition is lost. But it does becomes easier to chew and more tasty. The idea of Japgokbap is to keep the tastiness of white rice, but increase the nutrition value by mixing in whole grains.
At a Korean market, you may see a large variety of wild grains in the rice section. There are over 20+ grains you can select from in my local market here in Seoul. Let me offer you a tip. Buy the glutinous kinds – they taste the best! The glutinous grains release much more starch at cooking temperature than other grains. They stick to each other and are easy to chew.
Korean labels indicate glutinous grains with the word “찰”. For example, you may see “찰 현미” and “현미” for brown rice. The former is glutinous brown rice and the latter is simply brown rice.
Today, we will make a mix and use the most popular wild grains. Some families like to use a mix of three grains. Or 5 grains. Sometimes, I just use one! It’s up to you.
The tricky thing to cooking multigrain rice is knowing how much water you need to add.
The amount of water required depends on (1) the method of cooking (pot, pressure cooker, rice cooker) and (2) on the grain type. Some people really like to be exact. But I prefer to keep it simple:
Start by pre-soaking the grains (and beans) in water. By doing so, the grains get fully hydrated and don’t soak-in any extra water. So, you can use a 1:1 ratio of grain-to-water. It should produce a delicious, sticky rice! After the 1st batch, you can fine-tune the water amount, if needed.
If you will cook it on a pot (as I show in the video), make sure to use a thick-bottomed pot. A thick-bottom will evenly distribute the heat and prevent a hot-spot. Also, after it comes to a boil, make sure to reduce the heat to a low!
Alright, happy eats ya’ll. Daniel out! 🕺
Japgokbap - Multigrain Rice
- Short grain white rice (멥쌀) - 1 cup
- Mixed grains - 1 cup
- Short grain glutinous rice (찹쌀)
- Short grain brown rice (현미쌀)
- Yellow glutinous millet 찰수수 [aka Sorghum bicolor]
- Red glutinous millet 찰기장 [aka Sorghum bicolor]
- Water - 2 cups
- Glutinous black rice 흑미쌀 - 1.5 Tablespoons
- Black Adzuki beans 검은팥 - a handful
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 or Tupperware.
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 them overnight - rather than waiting 3 hours during the day. It's completely okay to soak the beans or rice for much longer than 3 hours!
- 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 pay the grains separately, look for the word '찹', this means it is glutinous. Pick this one - taste much tastier
- If you want to save the rice, put it into ziploc bags and freeze right after cooking.
- See video for more details