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Lobster & Jonah Crab Juk (Korean Rice Porridge)

Lobster & Jonah Crab Juk (Korean Rice Porridge) by Christine Yi
Serves 4 (with leftovers)

Juk is one of my favorite comfort foods! My mom & grandmother would make different iterations (abalone, chicken, zucchini!) whenever I wasn’t feeling well. Inspired by my favorite abalone juk and Korean dramas, I thought this Lobster & Crab version would be elegant, rich & delicious. I always talk out my Korean recipe remakes with my mom, and at first, she was wary of lobster & crab juk, but when I explained the method I was planning to use to make it, she changed her tune quickly and even asked me to bring some to her in SF😁 Traditionally juk is served with seasoning on the side to season your own bowl the way it comforts you. If you don’t want to use the lobster pieces as garnish, you can dice claws & tail and add to juk when you add crab and heat through together.

Ingredients

1.5 cups medium grain rice
2 live lobsters
1lb Jonah crabmeat
1/2 onion, chopped roughly
10 garlic cloves, smashed
3” ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
2” ginger, peeled and finely julienned
2 large scallions or 7 regular scallions, chopped roughly
Neutral oil like canola
Sesame oil
2 Tbsp butter
1-2 scallions, chopped on the bias or julienned
Optional perilla seeds and/or oil, chili oil

Directions

  1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to boil. Meanwhile remove tail & claws from live lobster. Boil tail for 6 3 min. While boiling prepare an ice bath. In same water, boil claws for 6.5 min. Save this cooking water.
  2. (If you like lobster guts & tomalley, remove from head & body and set aside.) Chop uncooked lobster body & heads into smaller pieces.
  3. Carefully remove claws & tail from shells so pieces remain intact to use lobster pieces as garnish. Save shells. Slice tail in half lengthwise.
  4. Wash rice until water is clear. Then soak for 1-2 hours.
  5. Pan roast all of the chopped lobster pieces & shells from claws & tails with the aromatic vegetables in a large Dutch oven with 3 Tbsp neutral oil (I used canola) over medium heat until shells are bright red & become more brittle. Stir throughout and crush lobster shells to allow more flavor to be extracted.
  6. Increase heat to high, add tail & claw water to Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 hours, uncovered. Strain broth pressing down on all the lobster shells to extract all the flavor. You should have 10-12 cups of lobster broth. 
  7. Drain soaked rice. In a heavy bottomed pot (large enough to hold rice & stock), sauté rice with lobster guts/tomalley (if using) in 3 Tbsp sesame oil over medium high heat until rice is translucent. Stir constantly so rice doesn’t stick.
  8. Turn heat to high and add all of the lobster stock into the rice using a fine mesh sieve to capture any stray lobster shell. Keep stirring; you want the rice & stock at a strong boil to release the starches into the stock. As the rice absorbs the stock and liquid reduces, adjust heat lower while still keeping rice at a boil. When the liquid is just about absorbed (~25-30 minutes), add julienned ginger and mix through. Reduce heat to a simmer and add Jonah crabmeat and stir to heat through.
  9. In a sauté pan, melt 2 Tbsp butter over low heat and then place tail cut side down and add claws to just warm lobster meat through, basting butter over lobster.
  10. Transfer juk into 4 bowls and top with 1 claw & half lobster tail.
  11. Serve with salt, white pepper and/& chili oil. (Optional) Garnish with chopped or julienned scallions and/or crushed toasted sesame or perilla seeds.