Morning Jok (Thai Congee) – Comforting Rice Porridge

By Mark Wiens Bangkok
Jok (โจ๊ก) vendor

Jok (โจ๊ก) vendor

Jok (โจ๊ก, pronounced joke), or the Thai version of congee also known as rice porridge, is about as comforting as a Thai breakfast can come.

While it’s available at some famous sit down restaurants like Jok Samyan, it’s more of a dish that people prefer to grab for takeaway. It’s a dish that makes one want to curl into a fetal position while watching a movie and drinking a cup of tea (maybe that’s why it’s often taken away?).

I didn’t first care for jok that much, I thought it was a little on the wimpy side and preferred to eat something more filling and spicy, but after eating it a number of times for breakfast recently, I can honestly say that I’m quite a converted fan now.

The cart that produces it all!

The cart that produces it all!

Within just about every morning market in Bangkok you’ll find at least one jok (โจ๊ก) vendor.

Still cooking jok over charcoal for a lovely smokey flavor

Still cooking jok over charcoal for a lovely smoky flavor

Jok (โจ๊ก) can be cooked on a stove, but I prefer when it’s cooked over charcoal, giving the rice a slight grilled smoky flavor. Here are a few pots of jok on the fires in different thickness stages.

Assembling jok for takeaway

Assembling jok for takeaway

Morning jok vendors can get quite busy, it being a very popular Thai breakfast dish to eat in the morning.

Pork and pig parts

Pork and pig parts

While you could order it meatless, pork normally plays a significant part in any bowl.

Minced pork meatballs and slices of liver are the two most common pork additions. The vendor normally pre-cooks the meat and then adds them to each order.

Jok to-go

Jok to-go

Plastic bags are of course used for takeaway, and since jok is piping hot when it’s served, the bags are placed into metal cans before being tied with a rubberband, placed in another plastic bag, and handed to you.

About to dig into my morning jok

About to dig into my morning jok

Upon arriving home, the next step is to find a bowl, empty the contents of the plastic bag into the bowl, garnish with a few pieces of fresh ginger and onions and season with a little vinegar (however much desired), and dig in!

Morning (or even evening) Jok (โจ๊ก) is available throughout Bangkok, often from street stalls.

Here’s the video from my last delicious jok breakfast:

If you’d like to come to this spot, it’s located in the Talat Mahasin Market on Sukhumvit 101/1. On Soi 26 make a right, and then make a first left and the stall is right on the corner in the morning from about 6 am – 8 am.

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