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, kosher salt, toasted 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!


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 toasted 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 kosher salt
  • eggs (optional)
  • 1 sheet of gim (seaweed paper), toasted, and crushed


Clean abalones

  1. Scrub the tops and sides of the abalone with a clean kitchen brush or sponge and salt.
  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.


  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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  1. i just made this! its very very yummy!!
    me and my mom both have a cold so i made it to make us feel a bit better!
    my mom really liked it too!! thanks so much for the recipe!

  2. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    Thank you for letting me know your successful shrimp porridge making! Now you can make many different kinds of porridge.

    I would not replace fish sauce with salty shrimp sauce. The reason I use fish sauce is to give some flavor like Korean fermented soy sauce for soup. But if you want to use saewoojeot (salty shrimp sauce), who would interrupt it. : )

    Please follow the recipe. Some people may use leftover rice to make porridge, but I don’t. More effort, more delicious!

  3. Maangchi,

    I was wondering if I could use already cooked white rice? If so, how would I adjust the amount of water? Thanks, I love your blog!

  4. Hi Maangchi, wondering if you can substitute the fish sauce with saewoo jut and if so, would it be the same amount (1 tbsp)? would that change the taste dramatically?

  5. Maangchi!
    I made this last night (w/ shrimps)after I got back from a late class and TKD. So delicious! It really warmed me up after comming in from the crazy cold.
    thanks for another great recipe!

  6. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    Let me know how your jeonbokjuk turns out! thanks,

    yes, you can make tuna porridge called “chamchijuk”:참치죽 in Korean. When you use a can of tuna, make the porridge as you normally would and then add the can of tuna at the end. You don’t have to soak rice to make porridge, but it will take longer for the rice grains to be cooked well. And the amount of water will be changed, too. I hope your daughter gets better after eating the tuna porridge that you make!

  7. gabieolie& has 14 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    My daughter is sick and I would like to make this porridge. What is the minimum amount of time I should soak the rice? Also, can I use a can of tuna? No time for me to go to the Korean market right now :) Thank you!

  8. Libelle& has 30 comments

    Maangchi ssi, annyeong!
    A porridge recipe! Woohoo! hahaha I’ve been waiting, patiently, for another porridge recipe and there it is! It looks delicious and I look forward to making it for my husband. Kamsahamnida, precious Maangchi!

  9. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    Thank you very much! I have a few close friends helping me make my videos.

  10. Maangchi, after watching soooo many videos, I have only just realized that we never see your camera person. Who is the wonderful person who helps you so much? They deserve many thanks, just as you do!

  11. admin joined 7/08 & has 12,047 comments

    I already posted it on this page. I’m copying it and pasting it here for you.
    “..You can replace abalone in this recipe with mussels, clams, shrimp, or even ground beef..”

  12. Are there other subsitutes for Abalone?

  13. Missed your videos! I have never had abalone so I am eager to try this recipe. Will have to wait until I can get some abalone. If I can’t get it here I will wait until our next trip to H Mart in NY.

  14. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    Yes, I saw frozen abalone in the frozen section at Han Arueu on 32nd St. Thank you!

  15. maangchi! this looks SO delicious and would probably keep me warm in the cold nyc weather. :) welcome back and i’m so happy to see this recipe. do you think i can buy abalone from han areum on 32nd street? i don’t think i’ve seen it there before.

    ps: YUM!!!

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