Nurungji Dakjuk (Korean Chicken Porridge with Scorched Rice)
Nurungji Dakjuk is a Korean chicken porridge made with scorched rice. This comfort food is convenient to make on a whim and great for when you’re feeling under the weather. The scorched rice in this original recipe cuts down prep time and adds a wonderful toasted flavor.
This recipe is for Korean chicken porridge (dakjuk, 닭죽). The ingredients are somewhat reminiscent of the classic American chicken noodle soup. They are both prepared with chicken, celery, and carrots. And similarly, they are both nourishing, comfort food usually cooked up for someone who is feeling sick.
Since the ingredient quantities are pretty flexible, it is hard to mess up this dish and is great for the novice cook. Just enough broth is added to rehydrate and soften the rice, and you can always add more broth as needed until the rice is cooked through.
Juk, Korean Porridge
In Korea, porridge (juk, 죽) is usually served for breakfast or when you are feeling unwell. The ingredients tend to be healthy and the soft consistency is easy on the stomach. There are different types of porridge that are popular in Korea. Some examples are chicken (dakjuk, 닭죽), pumpkin (hobakjuk, 호박죽), red bean (paht, 팥죽), and abalone (jeonbokjuk, 전복죽) porridge. They are all made with some form of rice base.
Nurungji Dakjuk Ingredients
I tend to make nurungji dakjuk when I have leftover samgyetang (삼계탕), a Korean ginseng chicken soup. However, when I am randomly craving this porridge, I simply use a store-bought whole rotisserie chicken.
Some dakjuk recipes, use raw pieces of bone-in chicken. However, I find you still get rich and deep flavors when using a ready-made, seasoned rotisserie chicken. It is also faster to prepare the broth and also cleaner to handle since it is not raw but already cooked.
The main vegetables in this dish are carrots and celery. Mushrooms are also a common addition.
I like to simmer whole garlic cloves with the rotisserie chicken when preparing the broth. They are important in emulating that garlicky flavor of samygetang, which is also prepared with plenty of garlic cloves. If you want more samgyetang flavor and nutrients in your broth, you could also use this convenient satchet from Kim’C Market.
You could make the broth with other aromatics, such as ginger and jujube. However, I like to keep it simple and use only garlic (and sometimes jujube).
Thinly sliced green onions and toasted sesame oil are usually stirred in at the end when the porridge is done. I always add the toasted sesame oil because it adds a nice nutty and toasted flavor. Top it off with some shredded dried seaweed for extra umami.
Why not Sweet Rice?
Dakjuk is typically made with sweet rice or glutinous rice (chapssal, 찹쌀). As its name suggests, it is sweeter in taste and, when cooked, has a stickier consistency. To make the porridge with sweet rice, you would have to soak the rice for about one hour. I’m not a huge fan of using sweet rice because of this lengthy soak time and prefer using scorched rice in my dakjuk.
Why Scorched Rice?
Since ready-made scorched rice (nurungji, 누룽지) is dried it can be conveniently stored in your pantry until needed. You can probably find this at your local Korean grocery store or can get it online.
When using nurungji, there is no lengthy soak time which definitely helps if you’re feeling under the weather and trying to feed yourself with this porridge. The dried nurungji rehydrates and softens up when simmered in water or broth, and has a wonderful toasted flavor.
How to Make Homemade Nurungji
You can also make nurungji yourself with leftover rice. Simply toast a thin layer of white rice (usually moistened with some water) on a nonstick pan over low heat. Toast it for about 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through. By the end you’ll have some crispy and browned scorched rice. Homemade nurungji is best to eat within three days or (if stored in the fridge) five days.
Nurungji on TV
Sometimes nurungji is eaten as a snack, almost like crackers. You may have noticed Yoon Se-Ri (actress Son Ye-Jin) from the Korean drama, Crash Landing On You, dipping it in some sugar and excitedly snacking on it at Ri Jeong-Hyeok‘s house (actor Hyun Bin). (This is a complete side note… but I am thrilled to hear about Son Ye-Jin and Hyun Bin‘s recent engagement!)
From one episode In the Soop, you also find BTS member V making nurungji sprinkled with a bit of sugar for some sweetness.
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Mise en place
If you make this Nurungji Dakjuk, I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave a comment and/or recipe rating at the bottom of this page. And if you have a photo of your food, be sure to tag me on Instagram!
Nurungji Dakjuk (Korean Chicken Porridge with Scorched Rice)
- 1 whole rotisserie chicken
- 8 cloves garlic
- 2 jujube (optional)
- ½ cup carrot, finely chopped (about 1 carrot)
- ½ cup celery, finely chopped (about 1 celery stalk)
- 1 cup dried scorched rice
- salt, TT
- pepper, TT
- toasted sesame oil
- dried seaweed, shredded
- toasted sesame seeds
- 2 soft boiled eggs (recipe directions here)
- Add the rotisserie chicken to a large pot with just enough water to cover the chicken.
- Add the garlic and (optional) jujube and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer covered for about 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and remove the garlic, jujube, and chicken from the pot.
- Ladle about half of the broth into a separate large heatproof bowl.
- When the chicken is a bit cooled, shred or finely chop some of the chicken meat. You will need about 1 cup of chopped chicken in the next step.
- Bring the remaining broth back to a simmer and stir in the scorched rice, chicken, carrots, and celery to the pot. Add a bit more broth to the pot if there isn't enough to cover the ingredients.
- Let it simmer (partially covered) for about 10 minutes or until the rice is softened, stirring occasionally. Add more broth if most of the broth is already reduced and the rice is not yet softened.
- When the rice is ready, stir in a drizzle of sesame oil and season to taste with some salt and pepper.
- Ladle some of the porridge into a bowl, and top with some crushed dried seaweed, sesame seeds, and (optional) halved soft boiled egg.
- Serve immediately.