Dakjuk is a Korean chicken rice porridge dish that’s made with chicken bone broth and rice. It’s usually served at the end of a Baeksuk meal but can also be enjoyed separately. This is a dish that’s near and dear to my heart because it brings me back to my childhood days when my dad used to cook for us on weekends.❤️ Gluten-Free
Dakjuk (닭죽 Chicken Porridge) always reminds me of my dad. It is one of those dishes that brings up the most joyful memories of childhood. On summer weekends when I was little, our family had a very private place in our dad’s farm (read more about it HERE).
Amongst beautiful and majestic pine trees, there was this hidden creek … where the water was crystal clear and icy cold ❄️. My father built a little dam to create a little pool for us to play in and also a Wondumak 원두막 (a hut with open sides that was built mostly as a resting spot for farmers) that was built on a concrete bridge suspended over the creek.
We took naps in the hut and had the most fantastic meals. We also had a traditional Korean wood-burning clay stove (아궁이 Agungi) where my dad made the most amazing foods. I wish I had a picture but I don’t…
Our meals weren’t fantastic because the food was Michelin star-worthy but because it was just really yummy food that my father cooked with much LOVE ❤️. Also, because it made me sooo happy to see him soo happy. I’m sure you know what I mean.. remember how joyous you felt when you saw your parents being so happy with something??
The fun story behind this Dakjuk is that I had to ask my mother and older sisters about how to make my father’s Dak juk. Each person only remembered parts of the dish but no one person had the whole recipe. So I pieced together all the different parts and came up with this recipe using my cooking experience and flavor memory (yes, I can still remember how the dish tastes from 40 some years ago).
I wasn’t sure if I could do it but boy, I did it!!!
I have been wanting to re-create the flavors for some time now and this time I was determined to get it right. You may say, hey, chicken porridge is chicken porridge – just chicken broth and rice, right?
Noo… Please believe me when I say this one is special..
BTW, here is a great post on the health benefits of bone stock.
Tips for Perfect Dakjuk
- Use homemade chicken broth with the leftover carcass for the best results. If you can, cook and enjoy Baeksuk (whole chicken soup) – (Instant pot version) before making Dakjuk, this works best. Substitute bone-in legs or breast instead of a whole chicken.
- Substitute canned low sodium chicken broth with some added chicken breast meat if you don’t have bone-in meat.
- Crush bones for extra flavorful bone broth but don’t totally smash it, just enough to crack it open. Totally crushing it will result in little bone fragments that would not be pleasant to eat.
- Use short-grain rice. Medium or long grain rice will not have sufficient stickiness to produce this Korean style porridge.
- Swirl in a beaten egg at the end for extra protein and flavor.
- When cooking porridge in the Instant Pot, don’t fill the pot more than 1/2 way. Also, when releasing pressure after cooking soup, it will splatter a lot so it’s best to cover the valve with a heavy kitchen towel to prevent messing up your whole kitchen.
- Use Rotisserie Chicken – I’ve now had a couple of readers comment about using leftover Costco rotisserie chicken (or any other rotisserie chicken will work I’m sure) to make this recipe and they loved it! Try that next time you have some leftover roast chicken.
Step-by-Step Instructions (includes IP recipe)
- Soak short-grain rice for 3o minutes to 1 hr and drain. Skip this step if cooking in the pressure cooker.
- Cook whole chicken (cornish hen works great for smaller amounts) on the stovetop – 40 minutes (stovetop recipe) and here’s Instant Pot recipe. Enjoy some chicken soup with rice and then save leftover soup for the next step. You will need 2 to 3 cups broth for 2 servings.
- Tear meat off the chicken bones and set aside. Roughly chop the meat into cubes. The meat will be added at the end.
- Crush the end of leg bones, the joint area, with the side of a knife so the marrow is exposed! This is the special part about this Dakjuk recipe – it produces such a wonderful deep flavor.
- In the pot, add chicken broth, carcass and crushed bones. Add broth (use more for stovetop and less for Instant Pot – please check recipe card).
- Stove Top – cover with lid, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Instant Pot – cover lid, lock valve and cook 7 minutes low pressure in Soup function. Natural Release or wait 10 minutes and Quick Release (release valve).
- Strain broth through a sieve to remove bones. Discard bones. Set broth aside.
Look at the difference of bone broth vs regular homemade baeksuk broth in the above picture. Even visually, the right bone broth looks thicker and the flavor and adds great depth of flavor to my Dad’s Korean Chicken Rice Porridge.
- Stove Top – in the same pot, add a swirl of sesame oil, saute soaked rice for 1-2 minutes until well coated and somewhat translucent. Add broth to rice. Cover lid and bring to boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes until rice has absorbed all the liquid and is cooked to your liking. If you want your Dakjuk to be really soft, you can cook it longer with more broth added. Stir occasionally to ensure there’s no rice sticking on the bottom of the post.
Instant Pot – add sesame oil to pot and add rice. Stir and cook rice until slightly translucent using SAUTE function for 1-2 minutes. Add bone broth. Cover lid, lock valve and set Porridge 10 minutes. Natural Release for 5 minutes then Quick Release by forcing the valve open and letting steam vent.
- While rice is cooking, chop green onions, perilla leaves and garlic. I hope you have perilla.. this REALLY makes this dish. Set aside for topping later.
- Now, add the meat from 3, mix and simmer on the stovetop (for Instant Pot, set Saute function for 1 min) just a few minutes on the stovetop so the meat gets heated up but no need to cook it again.
How to Serve Dakjuk
Serve this wonderful juk with good quality sea salt or soy sauce. Allow people to season to taste at the table. The soy sauce is NOT to be poured on the whole bowl but a tiny bit is to be spooned onto the porridge for just a couple spoonfuls. And you repeat. Top with green onions, perilla leaves and sesame seeds or perilla seeds.
- Serve immediately HOT from the pot for the best flavor. Serve with some good quality sea salt and black pepper. If you let this sit for a while, the rice will absorb the liquid and you will have a pasty juk – which is OK if you don’t mind the texture but I prefer to eat it right away.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Add some more water when you reheat. Freezing will also work.
- DO NOT salt the porridge until ready to eat. Salt will make the rice disintegrate over time.
Have a Baeksuk and Dakjuk Dinner Party
Make Bakesuk following my stovetop or Instant Pot recipe. Don’t cook rice and enjoy just the chicken meat first with some Buchu jeon (chive pancake) or Hobak Jeon. And some wonderful Kimchi. Once you feel you are kind of done eating the meat, tear off the remaining meat off the bones, smash the bones and follow this recipe to make the porridge. End your meal with this wonderful porridge and your tummy and family will be very happy.
If you don’t have a whole chicken or don’t have the time, sub canned chicken broth and chicken breast but it won’t taste as good as making your own bone broth. If you can, cook some bone-in legs or breasts in the canned chicken broth again to enhance the flavor of the broth. Because this dish is all about the chicken bone broth.
Can’t get Perilla leaves? Try it with some cilantro, ssukat (chrysanthemum leaves/crown daisies) or even basil. It’s the extra herb flavor that will make it extra yummy.
Stay well, everyone!
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Dak Juk (Chicken Porridge) - includes Instant Pot recipe
Make Chicken Soup or use leftover broth and meat from Baeksuk
Ingredients for Juk
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cornish hen or chicken carcass (leftover from Baeksuk recipe)
- 1 cup chicken meat (dark and white) (leftover from Baeksuk recipe)
- 1/2 cup short grain white rice soaked for 30 min
- 3 Perilla leaves (julienned)
- 2 green onions (chopped)
- salt (to taste)
- sesame seeds
- 2 tsp fresh garlic (chopped)
- 0.5 Tbsp sesame oil optional
- Wash and Soak rice in water for 30 min. Drain and set aside.
Make Chicken Bone Stock or Baeksuk
- Cook whole chicken (cornish hen works great for smaller amounts) on the stovetop - 40 minutes (stove top recipe). Enjoy some chicken soup with rice and then save leftover soup for the next step. You will need 3 cups broth minimum for 2 servings.
- Tear meat off the chicken bones and set aside. Roughly chop the meat into cubes. The meat will be added at the end.
- Crush the end of leg bones, the joint area, with the side of a knife so the marrow is exposed! This is the special part about this recipe - it produces such a wonderful deep flavor.
Regular Stove Top
- In the pot, add crushed chicken bones/carcass and broth and bring to boil then simmer for 30 minutes.
- While broth is being cooked, clean Perilla and Green onions. Slice Perilla leaves into thin strips, chop green onions.
- Also, cut the chicken meat (separated from bones) in step 3 into cubes.
- When bone broth is done, strain to remove all bone pieces. Discard bones. This bone broth will be richer and more flavorful than plain chicken broth as you can see in the picture.
- In the pot, add sesame oil and soaked rice. Turn heat to medium and stir rice so it gets evenly coated and also partially cooked. Do this until rice becomes somewhat translucent. For 1-2 minutes.
- To the pot with rice, add chicken bone broth. Bring to boil and then lower heat to medium low and simmer for 15-17 minutes. Keep it partially covered with a lid and stir often so things get cooked evenly.
- Once rice is cooked, add chicken meat (and garlic if you want), stir and continue simmer for 3 minutes. Now you are done! Follow plating and serving instructions at the end.
For Instant Pot
- No need to soak rice. Just rinse and drain.
- Cook whole chicken - make Baeksuk in the Instant Pot in 18 min - Instant Pot recipe. Enjoy a meal of chicken soup and rice. Save leftovers and broth. You need 2 1/4 cup of bone broth for 1/2 cup of rice.
- Go thru the steps in stove top recipe above for removing chicken meat from bones and then smashing bones. To Instant Pot, add back chicken broth only, the smashed bones, close the lid and the vent, select Manual Low pressure for 7 min. Natural release for 10 min then open.
- While broth is being cooked, clean Perilla and Green onions. Slice Perilla leaves into thin strips, chop green onions. If you like fresh garlic, chop some garlic and add as a topping at serving time. Or cook it together with the meat after rice is cooked.
- Strain bone broth and discard bones.
- OPTIONAL - To the pot, add sesame oil to pot, add rice and SAUTE for 1-2 min.
- To rice in the pot, add bone broth and close lid, vent and cook for 10 min Porridge function. Natural Release for 5 min then Quick Release to open the lid. Rice should be nice and very soft cooked but still have its shape.
- To cooked rice porridge, add chicken meat, stir and continue simmer on SAUTE function on HIGH for 3 minutes with the lid open. Now, you are done!
Plating and Serving (for both regular and IP recipe)
- Right before serving, while it's still hot, add perilla leaves, green onions and chopped garlic as garnish. If you are not a fan of raw garlic, you can add garlic with the meat in above step to lighlty cook garlic for a milder garlic flavor.
- Season with salt and pepper at the table. Sprinkle seasme seeds or perilla seeds for extra flavor. NEVER pre-season juk with salt unless it will be eaten right away because rice will disintegrate if you leave it too long with salt in it.
- Instant Pot
Tips & Notes:
- This porridge is made best after enjoying a Baeksuk (Korean Chicken Soup) recipe and using the leftover broth, carcass and meat from it.
- For the Instant Pot, I skipped the step of sauteeing rice in sesame oil mostly for convenience since it takes a few minutes for the IP to heat up for saute. But if you can, saute rice in sesame oil first before adding broth to make porridge. It will add some extra nutty flavor.
- Salt and Porridge - Don't season juk with salt unless you will be eating it right away and all of it. If you salt porridge and leave it, the rice will start to disintegrate.
- Substitutions - if you don't have a whole chicken or don't have the time, sub canned chicken broth and chicken breast but it won't taste as good as making your own bone broth. If you can, cook some bone-in legs or breasts in the canned chicken broth again to enhance the flavor of the broth. Because this dish is all about the chicken bone broth.
- Storage - store dakjuk in the refrigerator up to 4 days. freeze for longer storage.
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