Abalone porridge

Jeonbokjuk 전복죽

Abalone porridge (jeonbokjuk) is known as the “king of porridges” in Korea. Not only is it creamy, savory, delicious, hearty, and satisfying, but because they live on the rocks on the bottom of the ocean, abalones are incredibly lean and have almost no fat. They are full of good minerals and vitamins, too. It’s hard to beat abalone porridge for taste, nutrition, and making you feel warm and satisfied.

When I lived in Korea, abalones were so expensive that most people couldn’t afford them, and we rarely ate jeonbokjuk. I traveled to the southern part of Korea late last year and I found fresh, live, wild caught abalones in the local seafood markets of Yeosu and Namhae. They were still expensive but I really wanted to taste them, so I bought some and made jeonbokjuk.

The flesh of fresh, wild caught jeonbok is surprisingly hard, but gets a lot softer and chewier after they are cooked. The porridge I made from these abalones was infused with their savory flavor, and it was incredibly delicious.

Of course I immediately thought of my readers and the jeonbokjuk video I made in 2009 when I first started my YouTube channel, which was filmed using frozen abalone. The difference in taste between frozen and fresh abalone is so huge, I decided to remake this video for the King of Porridges, using the best quality ingredients I could find!

I had my chef’s knife with me in Korea, and my cutting board, and some ingredients, but I didn’t have a good, clean kitchen brush to clean the abalones with so I ended up using salt and a clean sponge. I also modified my old jeonbokjuk recipe to make it less salty, and you can change this recipe to your taste if you want: add more or less fish sauce, salt, sesame oil, or water.

Even if you can’t get fresh, wild caught abalones, you can still use frozen abalones from a Korean grocery store, or replace abalone with mussels, clams, shrimp, or even ground beef. Whichever way you make jeonbokjuk, this porridge makes a great meal for yourself, someone you love, or someone who is recovering from an illness who can use the nutrients of abalone in a form that is soothing and gentle on the stomach.

Enjoy your abalone porridge! I feel like some right now!

jeonbokjuk

Ingredients (for 2 or 3 servings)

  • 2 fresh medium sized abalones (or 4 to 5 ounces of frozen abalone)
  • 1 cup rice, rinsed and soaked in cold water for 1 hour
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5-6 cups of water
  • ⅓ cup chopped carrot
  • 2 to 3 chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • eggs (optional)
  • 1 sheet of gim (seaweed paper), toasted, and crushed

Directions

Clean abalones

  1. Scrub the tops and sides of the abalone with a clean kitchen brush or sponge and salt.
    jeonbok
  2. Cut off the tip.
    abalone (jeonbok: 전복)
  3. If they are still in the shells, gently and firmly pry them out with a spoon. Remove the intestines, too. abalones
  4. Wash and scrub the meat and intestines in clean running water.
    abalones cleanedabalone (jeonbok: 전복)

Make porridge

  1. Strain the rice.
  2. Heat a thick-bottomed pot over medium hight heat. Add the sesame oil and garlic and stir with a wooden spoon for 10 to 20 seconds. Add the abalone intestines if you have it, and keep stirring until well combined.jeonbokjuk-frying-garlic
  3. Add the rice and stir with the wooden spoon for one minute until the rice turns a little translucent.
  4. Add the chopped abalone and 5 cups of water. Stir and cover. Let cook over medium high heat for 10 minutes.jeonbokjuk-frying
  5. Add carrot and green onions. Lower the heat and cook for another 10 minutes.jeonbokjuk-making
  6. If you like your porridge a bit more soupy, you can add one more cup of water and let it cook for a few more minutes over low heat.
  7. Add fish sauce and salt and stir it well. Optional poached egg

Optional poached eggs

  1. If you want a poached egg or 2, crack the eggs into the porridge. Gently stir the bottom of the pot with the wooden spoon so it doesn’t get burnt. Cover, turn up the heat a bit, and cook for another minute or two.

Serve

  1. Toast a sheet of seaweed (gim) and put it in a plastic bag. Rub the sides of the bag together to crush the gim and create gimgaru (crushed seaweed flakes).
  2. To serve, ladle servings of porridge into bowls and sprinkle a bit of gimgaru over each one just before eating. Serve with kimchi and a few more side dishes if you have them, or just by itself.

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156 Comments:

  1. tischlagerr My profile page joined 7/15
    Posted January 10th, 2016 at 6:41 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi!
    Do you know where you can buy abalone in New York? I tried to find it for a long time, but I still couldn’t find anywhere!

    • Oxide California My profile page joined 2/15
      Posted January 11th, 2016 at 6:16 pm | # |

      Hi tischlagerr,

      I have seen abalone the size of what Maangchi used in Korean markets and other Asian markets. It is in the deep freeze, next to the frozen octopus, squid, etc. I believe it is imported from Asia.

      Fresh abalone can be had in Calif but the minimum size is 7-inches, considerably bigger than the Asian varieties.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted January 19th, 2016 at 3:59 pm | # |

      Fresh live abalones are sometimes found at a large Korean grocery stores like Hmart or HY market in Flushing, but frozen abalones are easily found in the frozen section in Korean grocery stores.

  2. Oxide California My profile page joined 2/15
    Posted January 5th, 2016 at 8:56 pm | # |

    Maangchi, your shirt is hilarious! … sheep wearing knitted wool sweaters
    (*^_^*)

  3. soko2usa Minnesota My profile page joined 4/09
    Posted January 4th, 2016 at 6:21 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi-sshi!

    Various Korean food books and sites have said some abalone porridge is a “delicate green color” and I always wondered where the green comes from. Now I know!

    Thank you for your videos!
    <3, Kerri

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted January 4th, 2016 at 11:06 am | # |

      Kerri!
      It’s been a long time to hear from you! : )
      I hope you can find fresh abalone in your area so that you can make this.

    • Oxide California My profile page joined 2/15
      Posted January 5th, 2016 at 8:55 pm | # |

      I love abalone! I used to dive for abalone off the California coast. Abalone eat only algae … seaweed. That is the green content of their stomach and digestive tract.

  4. ariel.ong My profile page joined 5/15
    Posted May 22nd, 2015 at 5:04 am | # |

    just made this! amazingly heartwarming porridge.
    Other than abalone, i also added fish paste (minced fish meat) to it, also added ginger to get a bit more of a spiciness/kick. oh and also dried mushrooms! it’s a great recipe and there’s plenty of ways to create your own variations! great for winters (it’s almost winter here in melbourne!)!

  5. jessminder My profile page joined 3/15
    Posted March 25th, 2015 at 1:32 am | # |

    can i put more than 1 cup of abalones? X) i love this porridge a lot, and this recipe is amazing X)!

  6. j8n LA My profile page joined 4/14
    Posted April 13th, 2014 at 12:12 pm | # |

    Maangchi, i love your recipes. My Korean husband misses Korean food and demands that I cook for him. Your recipes are easy to follow and fun to watch.
    if you can’t find frozen or live abalone, you may try to see if you can find dried abalone or canned abalone. If you use the dried abalone that comes in oval slices about 1/8 inch thick then you can soak them overnight and chopped it up, but cooking time will vary. I usually cook the dried abalone first and then add the other ingredients. If you’re using canned abalone you will need to adjust seasoning because the liquid in the can is salty.
    I don’t really know why, but my mom would roast the rice on a pan before introducing it into her juk if she was cooking with chicken. For chicken juk, I love adding lime and chili paste.

  7. KaeTee Boston My profile page joined 3/14
    Posted March 21st, 2014 at 9:27 pm | # |

    I live on the northeast coast of the US. Abalone isn’t native to this area, I’ve never had it, I don’t even think I’d be able to find it at a market. Can any type of fish be substituted? I was thinking maybe scallops or even haddock? Or should a shellfish be used?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted March 22nd, 2014 at 11:37 am | # |

      yes, you can replace abalone with shrimp, octopus, or mussels. Haddock? I have never used it to make porridge.

  8. Candy87 South Lake Tahoe My profile page joined 12/13
    Posted January 12th, 2014 at 6:16 pm | # |

    I just made juk! So excited. I couldn’t find abalone but I substituted shrimp and it still came out pretty good. Next time I go to the coast I’ll see about getting some abalone. In the meantime thank you so much for your easy and delicious recipes.

  9. Zulumom Concord, CA My profile page joined 9/13
    Posted October 20th, 2013 at 4:34 am | # |

    Miss Maangchi, I finally made this abalone porridge! My oldest dog was hospitalized at the ER for five days for kidney failure and other issues but came home today with a lot of improvement! He didn’t want to eat any food for five days, and yesterday he ate my abalone porridge. I made that porridge because you call it the king of porridge, and my dog, Zulu, is the king in our house. Now my husband got sick too, so he wants to eat some of that delicious porridge leftover…but I don’t know about sharing it with him. Hahahaha… Anyhow, I wanted to thank you for this recipe because my dog didn’t want any food, but he lapped all it’s broth on top, then a bit of rice and abalone meat too. It was special enough for him to finally eat food as part of his recovery.

  10. Leester82 CA My profile page joined 3/13
    Posted March 14th, 2013 at 4:49 pm | # |

    Do we have to use the fish sauce? I want to make it for someone, but they don’t like the fishy smell. Will it still taste good without it? or can i use something as a substitute? Thank u!

    Can you please also do a recipe for Porridge with sogogi?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted March 16th, 2013 at 6:44 am | # |

      How about using gukganjang (soup soy sauce) or salt?
      “Can you please also do a recipe for Porridge with sogogi?” You can make soegogijuk (beef porridge) by replacing abalone with ground beef in this recipe. It will turn out delicious.

      • Leester82 CA My profile page joined 3/13
        Posted March 16th, 2013 at 6:43 pm | # |

        thanks. When I made the soup, it lacked a little bit of flavor and I added more salt. Would it be possible to add chicken stock to the water? I’m not a fan of store bought chicken stock but maybe boil the chicken bones and use the stock from that? Thank you!

  11. korealoveforever USA My profile page joined 1/12
    Posted April 30th, 2012 at 12:32 am | # |

    Maagchi, this recipe as authentic as it can be. I finally was able to find abalone in korean store and made this porridge, my husband said it was awesome. Def will make it again, thank you

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted April 30th, 2012 at 11:46 am | # |

      I’m so happy to hear that you got a compliment from your husband! Jeonbokjuk is the king of porridges in Korean cuisine.

    • daisies Sunnyvale, CA My profile page joined 1/13
      Posted January 9th, 2013 at 1:56 pm | # |

      Hi, I was wondering if carrots are added for flavor or just the presentation? If the latter than I would skip it personally. If it is for the flavor I will then keep it in. Thank you.

  12. beautifullight41 United States My profile page joined 4/12
    Posted April 19th, 2012 at 11:39 pm | # |

    hi maangchi! I could use this recipe and use salmon instead of jumbok, right? If I don’t use fish sauce (trying to keep salt content down for baby), it would still be good, right? Also, I plan on using sweet rice instead of short grain rice, or is jumbokjook usually made with short-grain rice?

  13. gizzybear2007 Fleming Island, FL My profile page joined 1/12
    Posted January 12th, 2012 at 9:12 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi I love your videos because you are such a friendly and perky person and also because you are also an amazing cook. I personally love Korean Food and being raised in Korea Town while growing up allowed me to be introduced to all these yummy foods. And my question or suggestion to you is number one what are the 2 things you are eating the porridge with? I know you said one was kimchi but what type and what is the other thing. I would really love for you to share with us what you accompany your meals with and how to make it. So us newbies or enthusiast Korean foodies can be enlighten on the right palette

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