Oct 232013

Pumpkin Jook: Fall Treat from Korea {Around the World in 12 Dishes}

It’s time again for a trip around the world from the comfort of our kitchen! As part of the series “Around the World in 12 Dishes,” each month participating bloggers travel the world with their kids by cooking a dish from another country and perhaps reading a book, doing a craft, or learning fun facts about it.

This month for our virtual trip to Korea I was so pleased to stumble upon a treat perfect for fall – pumpkin jook!  Jook is a rice porridge found in a number of Asian countries.  I was excited to finally try it after reading about it.  I drew inspiration from several recipes, including one from Beyond Kimchee and this one from Week of Menus.

To continue my trend of trying to find time savers for traditional recipes, I decided to use canned pumpkin rather than boiling it as in the original recipes.  I also did an experiment to see whether the soaked, pureed rice could be replaced by something I have in abundance in my pantry – baby rice cereal!  Did it work?  You’ll have to keep reading to find out …

Pumpkin Jook (Rice Porridge)

Method One


1/3 c short-grain rice (I used brown rice) [Use sweet rice if you can find it]

3/4 c pumpkin puree (about 1/2 of a 15 oz can)

1 & 1/2 c water


1-2 T brown sugar

Pumpkin Jook - Fall Treat from Korea {Around the World in 12 Dishes}

Rinse the rice several times.  Monkey loved this part!

Soak the rice in one cup of water. Most recipes call for soaking at least several hours, or even overnight.  Since I was using brown rice I let it soak for a long time – approx. 7 hours.

Drain rice then puree it in a blender with 1/2 c of water.

Pumpkin Jook - Fall Treat from Korea {Around the World in 12 Dishes}

Mix the rice puree with an additional 1 cup of water and the pumpkin and heat in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until it starts to thicken (5-10 minutes).

Stir in a pinch of salt and brown sugar to taste.  (I used 2 T).

 Pumpkin Jook - Fall Treat from Korea {Around the World in 12 Dishes}


And now for my experiment:

Method Two


1/3 c baby rice cereal

2 c water

3/4 c pumpkin puree (about 1/2 of a 15 oz can)


1-2 T brown sugar

Mix rice cereal and water until blended.  The rice cereal will absorb much of the water.  Add additional water as needed, but only slowly.  I originally added too much water, and then it was nearly impossible to get it to thicken.  Add pumpkin and heat in a small saucepan until it begins to thicken.  Add a pinch of salt and brown sugar to taste.

 Pumpkin Jook - Fall Treat from Korea {Around the World in 12 Dishes}

So which method was best?  The original, of course.  (Isn’t it always?)  Using the rice cereal will work in a pinch, but the final result is much different.  The original method yields a thicker, chewier porridge, while the quickie method resulted in something more the consistency of tomato soup.  It still tasted great, but I preferred the other.  Then again, I like my orange juice with extra pulp!  If you are using this as baby food, I would recommend the quick method, so you have that really smooth consistency.

Overall, this is a great, filling fall treat!  It makes a great breakfast or snack, or could even be a great dessert.

To give Monkey a better sense of where this dish came from we read Pigling: A Cinderella Story. I didn’t expect Monkey to be very interested in this Cinderella story, but the fact that it was a graphic novel made it much more attractive to him.  It also provided lots of opportunities for him to absorb Korean culture through the images in this traditional tale.  He also loved some of the dramatic elements of the story, like the tornado and the bull that come to the main character’s rescue.  It is a fun read – we will definitely try graphic novels again!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase on Amazon, I will receive a small commission.


Around the World in 12 DishesCheck out the other participating blogs to see what they have been cooking up:

Adventures In Mommydom, Afterschool for Smarty Pants, All Done Monkey, Crafty Moms Share,Creative World of Varya, Glittering Muffins, Here Come The Girls, Kid World Citizen, Maroc Mama, Mermaids’ Makings, The Educators’ Spin On It

If you try a dish from Korea, we’d love to hear about it! You can also link up your dish or craft here to share your post on all the participating blogs:

  12 Responses to “Pumpkin Jook: A Fall Treat from Korea {Around the World in 12 Dishes}”

  1. We are about to try Chinese Jook (aka congee) but I have to say, this pumpkin one looks and sounds much better!! And seems like a great fall breakfast.

    • Yes, it tastes great! Now I am excited to try other variations. I look forward to reading how you like congee!

  2. Love this Around the World in 12 dishes. I have been wanting to start this in our home with our daughter for mine and her own cultural exposure – and to add a variety to our dinner menu. Very excited to follow through the months and try this one out. Guess I know which country we are starting with. Is there an outline for each month that will be covered?

  3. Oh, that looks great!! Glad Monkey enjoyed Pigling. I think it was my least favorite of the Korean Cinderella versions, but I’m not into the graphic novels.

    • I would be interested in reading some of the other Korean Cinderella tales, but this was the one I could find in our library, plus Monkey really did enjoy the fact that it was a graphic novel.

  4. I am impressed that you found the recipe that includes pumpkins – I’ve never thought of pumpkins as traditional Korean vegetable (or is it fruit). Looks good!

    • I didn’t think it was either, but I found several recipes for it. Although they all say “pumpkin,” though, there are hints that it is any winter squash, like kabocha.

  5. My Korean mother-in-law says that this is considered a good luck dish that you give a new bride in hopes of many kids.

  6. Love that you made the original and you made up a quick version too! Thanks for participating again 🙂

  7. […] from ALLDONEMONKEY explores Korean cuisine by preparing a pumpkin traditional savory rice porridge called Jook. Read right to the end to find a Korean Cinderella story to accompany your homemade Korean […]

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial