… AKA corned beef and leftovers, part 3
Leftover idea #2? Corned beef hash okayu.
Wait, okayu? Yes, okayu (also known as jook, juk, congee, rice porriage, etc). This idea is completely my brain child, and it’s one of my better ideas. (One of my bad ideas? Purposely swapping 1/3 of the oil for extra virgin olive oil in a brownie recipe out of pure curiosity… yeah, don’t do that.)
Remember how I said that the hash aggravated my TMJ? Well, I still had a tupperware full of leftover hash (2 cups of beef and 2 cups of potatoes is a lot of food for just little ol’ me!), and late Sunday night I decided that the leftover hash should be thrown into a bowl of jook. If salted eggs are often paired with jook, why can’t salty corned beef?
As of right now, I have yet to make a proper pot of jook (Chinese rice porridge), mostly because I want to learn the way my mother makes it. My mom’s jook is thicker, richer, and meatier than most jook offerings. But a girl has to start somewhere, so I googled for recipes for my post-St.Patrick’s Day endeavor. Jook has a high ratio of water and therefore needs at least an hour to properly cook up. I wanted something that cooked faster, and found that okayu (Japanese rice porridge) was exactly what I wanted.
Corned Beef Hash Okayu
1/2 cup Japanese rice
3 cups water
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste**
2-3 cups of leftover corned beef hash
Start by rinsing your rice with cold water. Don’t be lazy. Rice is no longer treated with talc to prevent the rice from absorbing water during storage, but you never know if your bag of rice has a stray mealworm or something. I’m not trying to gross you out. I’m just speaking from experience. Rinsing your rice is a good time to check and make sure that nothing is funky.
A lot of sources say to soak the rice for 30 minutes. My mom never soaked rice for jook. Felicity Cloake of the Guardian UK says that soaking results in more even cooking, but that’s for rice and this is porridge. I was torn. In the end, I soaked my rice for 15 minutes, partly out of guilt and partly so that I could clean dishes.
When you are ready, bring the rice and water to a boil in a pot. Turn the heat down to a simmer and keep the pot covered. Let it simmer for 30 minutes, sitrring only a couple of times to make sure that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. You may need to crack the lid open a smidge to keep the pot from foaming too much.
Mix in the salt, turn off the heat, and let the porridge sit for 10 minutes. At that point, mix in your leftover hash. The hash doesn’t even need to be reheated from the refrigerator – the residual heat from cooking the okayu is enough to warm up the hash.
(**If you’re making okayu for something else, you should probably use 1/2 tsp salt which is the recommended amount. Corned beef is salty already so you don’t need as much. You can even get away with using no extra salt at all, but the corned beef hash okayu will seem a little dull.)
You can even be wacky and try topping it with furikake (Japanese rice seasoning). For the last bite of the corned beef hash okayu, I sprinkled some nori komi furikake (seasoned seaweed and sesame seed) and I liked it. If you think you want to add furikake to this okayu, you might want to reduce the salt amount a little. Furikake, as far as I know, always has salt as an ingredient.
Of course, you don’t have to make okayu from the corned beef hash. You can make it with the leftover corned beef and cabbage. If you do, I recommend not adding any salt. The corned beef and the cabbage will be very salty so more salt is not needed. And don’t feel like you’re restricted on the rice to water ratio. There is a lot of freedom here. Per the Bob&Angie site (a Japanese cooking site with a small English page),
There are different kayus depending on the rice to water ratio. Zengayu (Rice :water =1:5), Hichibugayu (1:7), Gobugayu (1:10), Sanbugayu (1:20). Wash rice very carefully, let it sit for 30 minutes in water.
Side note: I tried making okayu from Kashi’s 7 grain pilaf to serve with the straight-up corned beef. It didn’t work. The whole grains in their pilaf mix don’t break down. Please keep to rice only, but feel free to experiment with different kinds of rice.
Random thought of the day: I’m a little addicted to Trader Joe’s frying cheese right now. A little piece popped into the microwave for 15 seconds and served with raspberry jam? It’s a little bundle of happiness. I’m sure you wanted to know. ^_^
http://japanesefood.about.com/od/rice/r/okayu.htm (where I originally got the okayu recipe)
http://www.foodjimoto.com/2011/03/okayu.html (a great entry with pictures of the whole process for anyone completely unfamiliar with rice porridge)