Baboa Juk, eight treasures congee in English, is yet another auspicious food during Chinese festival (there seems to be just about one favorable food for each day in a Chinese lunar calendar!). Nothing to do with the Chinese New year, it is instead eaten in a festival called Lar Ba Jak on Lunar December the 8th.
Of all Chinese festival foods, I consider this one the most prinstine and the gentlest to the stomach. Most of us eat a bowl of its sweetened version featured below on the date above-stated. Strangely, some regions have this juk served in savory flavor with meats, and in some regions that don't have rice in their produce, the Baboa Juk is converted to the Baboa Meh, the eight treasures noodle.
Chinese rice 500g
Red dates 30g
Red beans 30g
Chinese rock sugar 500g
Rinse the millet and rice thoroughly under cold water.
Pour 5kg of water into a saucepan, add the red beans, peanuts, walnuts and pinenuts. Cook, stirring constantly, for 40 minutes.
Add the millet and rice, keep stirring over low heat until the mixture turns to juk-like texture (not too watery but smoothly thicky).
Put the Chinese rock sugar in the saucepan, stir until melt. Add the red dates and hawberries to the juk and heat for another 3 minutes.
Serve in bowls.
Tricks of the trade:
- Leave all the nuts in cold water overnight before use.
- If desired, add some dried longan and white wood ear fugus (leave in cold water for about 2-4 hours and cut into very fine shreds before use) to the juk (together with the red dates and hawberries).
- Some regions in China use glutinous rice instead of the millet for this juk.