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. ariel.ong joined 5/15 & has 1 comment

    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!)!

  2. jessminder joined 3/15 & has 1 comment

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

  3. j8n LA joined 4/14 & has 1 comment

    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.

  4. KaeTee Boston joined 3/14 & has 3 comments

    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?

  5. Candy87 South Lake Tahoe joined 12/13 & has 5 comments

    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.

  6. Zulumom Concord, CA joined 9/13 & has 35 comments

    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.

  7. Leester82 CA joined 3/13 & has 2 comments

    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 joined 8/08 & has 11,773 comments

      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 joined 3/13 & has 2 comments

        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!

  8. korealoveforever USA joined 1/12 & has 4 comments

    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

  9. beautifullight41 United States joined 4/12 & has 2 comments

    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?

  10. gizzybear2007 Fleming Island, FL joined 1/12 & has 2 comments

    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

  11. Genie Canada joined 1/12 & has 1 comment

    Heyy Maanchi!
    I wanted to make this, but i only have imitation crab right now, can i use that instead of abalone ? :D

  12. Jerry Ko New York joined 1/11 & has 9 comments

    Hi Maangchi! I made your abalone porridge for my me and my wife and it turned out so wonderful. I added some cilantro on top for garnish as well which I thought enhanced the porridge even more. I wanted to thank you personally for sharing such a great recipe post and finally I want wish you a happy upcoming new year and hope you had a wonderful Christmas holiday!

  13. mkfever NY joined 6/11 & has 4 comments

    my sister delivered her baby by surgery few days ago. this recipe right for her?

  14. asiaaa09 joined 3/11 & has 3 comments

    I am eating this now very nice I did it with ground beef ….. this is the second porridge I made, last week was the chicken porridge…thank you very much

  15. ellebelle joined 10/10 & has 5 comments

    Hi Maangchi! Can you recommend a juk for pregnant ladies? I have a friend upstairs in my dorm who is having morning sickness (“eepdut?”). Is there anything nutritious that is traditionally served to pregnant ladies?

    Thank you for your help,always!

    Ellen

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,773 comments

      Ellen,
      hmm, you are such a nice person! If you make porridge for her, she will be very happy.
      A pregnant woman struggling with morning sickness usually can’t tolerate any smell. I suggest you make white rice porridge. Skip all ingredients in the recipe and make the porridge with rice and water.
      Boil soaked rice and water over high heat and simmer it until rice grains are cooked well. Then add some salt. Let me know how it goes!

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