Turkey Jook

I hope you save that turkey carcass from Thanksgiving dinner, because you can use it to make turkey jook (“rice congee”, porridge… ahhh, just call it “jook“). And because I’m making it, you know the recipe has to be easy!

Turkey Jook

turkey jook

Originally posted 1 Dec 2008
Updated 25 Nov 2010

The Thanksgiving feast is done. Much of the remaining turkey meat has been cut off the carcass and saved for making sandwiches later. Now you’ve got a bare carcass sitting on your counter. You’re not going to throw that away are you?

Oh, heck no!

One of the best ways to deal with the turkey carcass is to make a big pot of turkey jook the next day. Making turkey jook takes relatively little work, especially compared to the culinary acrobatics that normally take place in the kitchen on Thanksgiving. Here’s what you do:

Put the turkey carcass in a big stock pot along with the thigh bones and wings, cover with water and simmer for 3 hours or more. You should get a rich, brown stock.

Turkey Stock

turkey stock for jook

Ladle out half of the stock (about 7-8 cups) into another pot. Remove the carcass bones and let them cool. Chill the remaining stock and reserve it for something else (turkey tortilla soup might be good).

Optional: add to the stock pot a cup of dried scallops that have been reconstituted in warm water.

Adding Dried Scallops to Turkey Stock

adding scallops to turkey stock for jook

Add a half cup of uncooked Japanese short grain rice, rinsed. We recommend short grain rice as opposed to jasmine, because the starchiness of the short grain will help thicken the jook. Let the rice simmer in the stock for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, peel the meat off the cooled turkey bones. Add half the meat to the jook and reserve the other half for (you guessed it) something else. (If you have any more leftover turkey meat, you might want to chop that up and use that too. But I’m lazy 😉 )

Peeled Turkey Meat

shredded turkey for jook

Adjust the seasonings with soy sauce to taste. Ladle the jook into bowls, then garnish with chopped green onion or cilantro, and a couple dashes of white pepper. Drizzle a little sesame seed oil on if you like.

There you have it. A nice, warm bowl of turkey jook to feed your soul.

Turkey Jook

turkey jook closeup

Aloha, Nate

38 thoughts on “Turkey Jook”

  1. >I made turkey jook, too, but now I’m kicking myself because I just remember that I have some dried scallops in the pantry and forgot to put that in. Really, really, really must clean out that *?!/* pantry.

    Yours looks delish, BTW.

  2. >This is a great way to use up those leftovers. It’s different enough from the original turkey that I don’t think people would get sick of the turkey.

  3. >I still have the carcass in the freezer. I was thinking of making some stock and Jook too. Thanks for sharing the jook recipe with us.

  4. >My mother-in-law makes a similar jook using turkey leftovers after we have a turkey dinner. I love it. It’s always so savoury 🙂

  5. >Hey, guys, I want to let you know that I linked to your jook entry in my blog while writing about turkey leftovers. Hope you don’t mind. If you do mind, let me know and I’ll remove the link, but I think you do the perfect job of explaining jook and displaying its deliciousness. Thanks!

  6. >@Robert – yep! I don't remember a post-Thanksgiving without turkey jook!

    @Jenster – Ha! I feel the same way about our pantry!

    @Cumi & Ciki – do you eat much turkey?

    @Fearless Kitchen – thanks!

    @Pearl – especially on a cold Fall day.

    @ICook4Fun – you're welcome. Don't let that carcass stay too long in the freezer!

    @Christina – I love that the turkey carcass flavors the jook with memories of Thanksgiving dinner.

    @Gwen – that would work too!

    @Jenster – no problemo. Thanks for the link and the compliments!

  7. >My turkey carcass is wrapped in the freezer, awaiting the jook I will make later this month. I guess we must be pigs because we just put ALL the turkey meat from the carcass back into the rice porridge. Save the rest for something else? What else could there be?? heeheee

  8. @Anonymous – burned rice at the bottom is a problem for us too. My only suggestion is to keep the heat med to med-low and stir every so often during the cook. Does anyone else have other suggestions?

    As for Korean markets in SF, I would try searching the Korean enclave around Geary Blvd between 7th and 10th. Can any of our SF readers suggest specific stores there?

    @Jenster – hee hee! What were you planning to have?

  9. I'm not cooking Thanksgiving turkey this year — for once! My brother is. Maybe I can steal the carcass from him. After all, I must have my turkey jook. 😉

  10. >How do you prevent your rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot? My problem with jook every time is that I get a sticky layer of rice stuck to the bottom of the pot! Also, I live in San Francisco. Where do you recommend I look for korean seaweed outside of chinatown? I haven't been able to find any.

  11. >I wasn't planning on having turkey this Thanksgiving but I think I will now – just so that I can make turkey jook the day after! Thanks!

  12. >@Anonymous – a couple of Facebook friends suggested putting ceramic soup spoons at the bottom of the pot, which would keep the rice moving as the bubbling spoons agitate the rice. They also suggested using a non-stick pot.

    @Carolyn – as soon as you see the turkey, call dibs on the carcass!

  13. >I went to make a chicken congee (Jook) after seeing your post. So comforting! Yours was a great idea of using turkey leftover!

  14. >Hello! Just discovered your blog tonight. I'm a third-generation Chinese-American raised in SF and now living in the East Bay. We celebrate Thanksgiving "cross-culturally," which includes turkey and sticky rice! And we ALWAYS make turkey jook the next day! Ours has added flavor because my husband brines and then smokes the turkey on the Weber. Yum! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  15. >I never made good turkey jook- the rice sank and stuck to the bottom and sometimes burnt. I tried it with cooked rice and it did not turn out good either. I did not know the proportion and did not know how long I should cook it. I used your recipe today and it turned out beautiful. No burnt jook either. I added white nuts and shredded bean curd sheets. It's perfect! Thank you very much.

  16. @Janet and Wendy – great! Glad you liked our recipe.

    @Twin Towers – welcome! Smoked turkey gives a really nice flavor, although I prefer it in a regular soup rather than jook.

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