A Bowl of Jook


Breakfast in Asia has always been a challenge for me- I was raised on breakfast foods primary consisting of eggs, breads, muesli, cereals with some sausage or bacon. Salmon would be the only fish I’d eat for breakfast, but that came as an adult.

Rice or noodles were never on the menu.

You’re not going to find breads, cereals or a western breakfast on the streets here, rice and noodle soups are the staples. What you will find is jook (pronounced joke). And good jook is, well, goooood.

Jook is slowly boiled rice- done properly it’s not runny or sticky- with some meat and fixings thrown in; it’s a porridge. Generally the meat is ground pork balls that have been boiled and other parts of the pig, like sliced intestines, thrown in for good measure. Spring onions and sliced ginger are the primary garnish, eggs- soft boiled, hard boiled or salt- can be added.

The rice is cooking in a massive pot, joke is served piping hot and each bowl is made to order.

I opt for the ground pork balls and spring onion- I’m still not big into the intestines and such and ginger is too strong a flavor for me. The picture above is without any egg. Like all Thai dishes, condiments are added by the eater, the common condiments are white pepper and a vinegar that includes some mild chili.

If you want to order a bowl of jook as shown in the picture, here is it in Thai: เอาโจ๊กใส่หมูอย่างเดียวไม่ใส่ขิง

Try it, it’s great and will cost around thb30, that’s about US$1 for a great breakfast.

Follow up- the day after I wrote this I did indeed have rice and spicy food for breakfast, have a read about that breakfast here.

About faranginbangkok

I began working in Bangkok during 2008- a time that featured a great deal of political unrest in Thailand and particularly Bangkok. I had lived in San Francisco for 15 years and was working on a project in Thailand. Generally, I spent 2 weeks in Bangkok and then 3-4 weeks in San Francisco. Did Bangkok begin to feel like home? Yes, and No. Bangkok and the Thai culture forced me to feel many things, the change in culture and environment was so dramatic it forced the decision- embrace or ignore. I embraced and made Bangkok my home and base in 2009. I have enjoyed living in Bangkok, experiencing Thailand and the entire ASEAN region. I moved to Singapore in 2016...fallen behind on this blog since.
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