I created this recipe for a pop up a couple years ago.  A close friend has been asking me to make it for her just about every week since then.  So I figured after 3 years I should post the recipe so she knows how to make it for herself.  This is a take on a Jook or congee or canja.

It has a very old history, essentially is is gruel.  Most people know it to be an Asian dish, I use the term Asian because almost all Asian cultures have one form or another of this dish.  It is a poor mans dish along with being the dish of royalty.  Typically served with sides like meat, fish, tofu and herbs.  The version I do is Portuguese where the rice is very soft but not completely disintegrated like in china.

“In Portugal, a traditional soup made of rice and chicken meat is named canja. The rice is not cooked for as long as in Asian congee, so it is very soft, but not disintegrated. Traditionally, a boiling fowl containing small, immature eggs is used; the eggs are carefully boiled and served in the canja. This soup is sometimes served with a fresh mint leaf on top. Strongly valued as comfort food, it is traditionally given to people recovering from disease, as in Asia, and in some regions of Portugal, there is even an ancient custom of feeding the mother a strict diet of canja in the first weeks after childbirth. It is also eaten traditionally in Brazil and Cape Verde, former Portuguese colonies”


  • 6 cups water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3.5 cups rice
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flake
  • salt to taste


  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • fried garlic
  • caramelized onions
  • cubed extra firm tofu
  • black vinegar
  1. Place all ingredients into a large heavy bottom pot
  2. on a medium low heat simmer stiring occasionally
  3. this process will take about 1 hour
  4. the mixture will begin to thicken and get creamy, at this point season with salt to taste
  5. you want to serve right away while its still steaming hot.
  6. The fun comes with all the garnish, you can add as much or as little as you want tosecondjook

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