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.

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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

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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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157 Comments:

  1. sbachwich Indiana joined 4/11 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi! :)

    I’ve made many of your recipes since I found your blog last year, and though I have loved them all, I have to tell you that this is my favorite. It’s so easy to make, comforting to eat, and completely delicious. I just made it for my roommate who is getting sick and we both loved it and felt better after we ate it :)

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us!!

  2. Kutin NYC joined 2/10 & has 6 comments

    Maangchi,

    I am making this porridge for dinner tonight. Hopefully mine came out pretty good. You see my husband never liked porridge, he said his mom porridge gave him a bad after taste about porridge. I really hope this porridge will change his mind. hehe Wish me luck.

  3. Vormittagsspuk Austin, Texas joined 12/10 & has 1 comment

    I just made this porridge, like several others on this site, I couldn’t find frozen abalone so I substituted 1/2 cup of shrimp and 1/2 a cup of scallops. Also, I made Maangchi’s radish salad to go along with this and had a bit of leftover daikon so I went ahead and put that in too. Anyway it came out really delicious! Everyone in my apartment liked it a lot so I think I’ll be making this again. Thanks Maangchi :)

  4. SerenaK North Jersey joined 12/09 & has 5 comments

    Hi Unnie,

    I notice the market has fresh abalone but I have no idea how to clean it. Is it difficult to clean?

  5. lanouri Suwon, South Korea joined 8/10 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi, thanks for this site!I live in Korea now and I’d found already recipes of 2 my favourite dishes! Jajamyon and chuk =)))
    But here is a question. When we go to te restaurant to eat chuk there’s some with seafood (shrimps, small octopuses) and mushrooms. Can you please give the recipe of this chuk? Thanx a lot!

  6. NachoM Chile! joined 6/10 & has 3 comments

    Maangchi! i have a question for you =)
    What kind of porridge korean people serve to ill persons? i have seen it on lots of korean series (My girl, Boys before flowers, among other.)
    Ive made this! but in Chile we dont have abalone, so i used “Locos” the local abalon haha

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,782 comments

      We make white rice porridge when our family member is sick. Make white rice porridge using this recipe. Leave out abalone and carrot, and use only white rice, water, salt and sesame oil,

      You can replace abalone with shrimp, clams, mussels, or ground beef…

  7. achel Maryland, USA joined 8/10 & has 4 comments

    Thanks for the recipe! I had to halve the recipe but it was still good. if anybody else does that (if anyone already talked about this, sorry for repeating) I would suggest to only use 3 c of water for 1/2 c rice. When there is still a good amount of water first, I added a bit of cornflour (mixed with some water first). Also, I added some lemon juice to add citrus-y flavor. Hehehe, kinda add to much sesame oil but I still like it :P

  8. jjoseph Florida, USA joined 7/10 & has 1 comment

    This was SO delicious! I’m vegetarian, so I used mushrooms and broccoli instead. I added a little toasted sesame seed oil and soy sauce at the end. Deliciouso! Thank you!

  9. edhardy2010 joined 6/10 & has 2,259 comments

    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.

  10. negar joined 5/10 & has 2 comments

    hi maangchi
    i love to make korean food but i’m in Iran and I can’t find the main things.It’s so bad.What can I do???

  11. myah Los Angeles, CA joined 5/10 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi. I was wondering if it was possible to substitute the rice for brown rice and if so, how much longer should it soak for?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,782 comments

      jeonbokjuk made with brown rice? hmm, it will be unusual but why not? try it out and let us know how it turns out. Soaking time may be 2-3 hours?

  12. RJXiao Niagara Falls joined 4/10 & has 6 comments

    When i askd for roasted laver . i got roasted seaweed is that what im supposed to be using? and in another receipe u say to use kelp is kelp buds OKay?

  13. bmit374 Seattle, WA joined 1/10 & has 2 comments

    This was one of my favorites while I lived in Korea. I can not wait to make it. Thank you very much for this website. Also, do you have any recipes on Mool Kimchi(물 김치) that is usually served with porridge? Thanks for the great recipes and videos!

  14. Laeticia& has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    Does it change anything if I let the rice soak overnight? I just felt an urge to prepare everything tonight so I sould have this warm dish tomorrow during breakfast :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,782 comments

      I’m sorry about the late reply. “Does it change anything if I let the rice soak overnight?” no, the recipe won’t be changed even though you soak the rice overnight.

  15. Paige& has 2,259 comments

    Hi Maangchi!

    I made this tonight with Cod (no abalone any where in my town) And it turned out wonderfully :) And I made it with perfect timing, I believe I may be catching a cold :( Thank you for putting up such a wonderful recipe :)

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