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i clicked on it immediately! I love jook! just posted my post thanksgiving "turkey jook" - it's family tradition to make it using the turkey bones. sometimes i enjoy that much more than the turkey itself. esp if my sister in law over-warms up Boston Market takeout turkey and dries it out.

oops...did i just type that OUTLOUD???


Oooooh, RICE porridge! I love this wherever I go in Asia.


Ah Chao vit! Finally a formal post from you on this. It's been years since you, Ms. Foodfirst, first reported (2003?) on chao vit in the old days of the Chowhound International Board.



I made turkey jook using the turkey carcass leftover from Thanksgiving. But duck jook - wow! The use of duck really elevates this humble dish. Add to that all those delicious condiments that make Vietnamese cuisine so wonderful, and you've got a great combination.

I wonder if anyone around here sells duck jook...


j - Yes you did, loud and clear! Don't worry, I won't tell your sister-in-law. But really - Boston Market take-out turkey?

Ed - we do as well. Endless variations out there.

RST - right, and this is the place I raved about in that post, I think. It's extremely special, this version. Had it elsewhere in Saigon and was not overly impressed.

Nate - I know that chao vit is served in some Bay Area Viet restos. As to whether those version are as wonderful as this ... you'll have to sample them and find out.


I miss bubur ayam, chicken rice porridge. Never try the duck one. Looks good

Susan in HK

Wow, Robyn, this sounds wonderful. I'll have to try it on my next visit to Saigon.


Pepy - I love bubur ayam! Then again, I never met a bubur I didn't like.

Susan - this place is a bit out of the way, but worth the effort.


I definitely clicked through as porridge is wonderfully comforting food...and as the weather here is cold and windy, porridge would definitely hit the spot! The duck porridge looks fantastic. I've never had to serve myself in a little bowl though...always just ate straight from the big bowl!


Su-Lin - I agree. To me rice porridge is the *ultimate* comfort food.

Andrea Nguyen

I stopped calling chao/jook/congee "porridge" because to western ears, it sounds like bland food for invalids and/or poor people. (In some old Asian cookbooks, it was called rice gruel!) Chao can be and is great if you're recovering from a bout of bad health, like a stomach thing, or if you're low on money and just have a bit of rice and water.

But chao is an art form too. Vietnamese cooks use different kinds of rice and cooking methods to prepare stellar chao. And all those garnishes -- shazam, they add texture and flavor beyond the bland.

To build appreciation and respect, I present chao as "creamy rice soup."

And yes, Robyn, I owe you a chao vit recipe!


I love congee! And so does my Swedish husband who learned to like it and love it after introducing him to congee as part of the breakfast buffets in some Asian hotels we've stayed at. The love affair with congee actually started in Hanoi. He would certainly want to have this Duck Rice Porridge. And so would I. Thanks for the post and enticing photos!


delicious pictures Robin, but the pleasure is yours! :)
when serving in a family, the duck meat, the greens, the banana blossom, the carrot, the cabbage, the herd, peanuts... are mixed together, then sugar vinegar is added... the mixture is pretty simiar to the chicken salad in the West, but it tastes a bit different due to the herbs and the greens). Yes, boiled duck meat dipping in ginger nuoc ma(m' is the yummy combination :)


Andrea - 'creamy rice soup' ... brilliant! Yes, you do (owe me a recipe). But I am very patient. I know it will be worth waiting for. ;-)

Rowi - you're welcome. When you think about it, what's not to like about a well-prepared 'creamy rice soup'?

Viet - you're right, the pleasure *was* all mine! Interesting about the home-style variation. Thanks for the info.


I adore rice porridge - didn't like it much as a child, but one's palate develops! And yes, so true that it is under-represented, misunderstood, largely unknown even, in the West. Marvellous food. Comfort food, yes, but such flavours! My grandma used to do a marvellous shredded chicken and chinese mushroom porridge. Um....thinking of it makes me miss both home food and my grandma....

Wish there was a way to promote rice porridge. Alas, not 'glamourous' food - though your photos of the duck porridge has done it lots of favours!

Helen Yuet Ling Pang

I love rice porridge/congee! And I also love duck, so this is the perfect dish for me. My mum used to make it for me when I was younger, though when I was ill, I only got fed the plain, tasteless version. Now she likes to add shreds of dried scallops to the rice porridge, to add incredible flavour. Thanks for this! Helen Yuet Ling Pang

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