Thought About Food Podcast

Clement Loo on Just Sustainability and Engaged Scholarship

October 4, 2021

We spoke with Clement Loo about food justice and food security, including food insecurity among college students, and how academics can be engaged with communities. We also talked about his podcast, Just Sustainability.

Show Notes:

  • Follow us on Twitter at @FoodThoughtPod, and you can drop us a line at ThoughtAboutFood on Gmail. Rate our podcast and leave us a review wherever you get your podcasts! It helps people find the show.
  • Clement Loo hosts one of my favorite podcasts, Just Sustainability. You can listen to it wherever you get your podcasts, or on its own website. I suggest listening to the other half of our conversation there when he interviewed me!
  • Clement was kind enough to share a recipe that he grew up eating, updated with modern cooking technology:
    "Below is how I cook jook (which is the Cantonese name for Congee) in my Instant Pot. 
    This is a recipe for a dish that's a cultural food for my family, something that I really hated when I was a kid, but has now become a comfort food (particularly when I don't feel well). 
    When I think about jook I think about my identity as a Chinese-Canadian/American from a family that has inconsistently hung onto Cantonese (or, to be more specific, Taishanese) culture. Our ancestors first immigrated to Canada and China in the latter-half of the1800s and over that time my family has developed a hodge-podge of traditions that mixes Chinese, Anglo-Canadian, and Euro-American. This recipe, while in some ways is super traditional, is executed in a way that would be probably unrecognizable (and would be probably considered incorrect) to someone from Guangzhou. 
    Ingredients (serves anywhere between 2 to 4 people):
    1 cup of long-grained white rice (though medium grain rice works as well)
    6 to 8 cups of water (depending if you like a thicker or runnier gruel)
    1 Chinese sausage (i.e. lap cheong) finely diced (optional and fine to exclude if you're a vegetarian or vegan)
    1 chicken or 1/2 turkey carcass (or, if one is without a carcass or don't eat carcasses, you can replace the water with an equal amount of vegetable stock or chicken stock)
    pickled vegetables to taste, finely diced (I tend to use kimchi because it's the easiest to find but my dad uses some sort of Chinese pickles -- I think pickled radishes)
    1 century egg, finely diced (also can be excluded if one is vegan or just is thrown off by fermented eggs that are dyed black -- they have a strong sort of acetone/ammonia sort of undernote so consider yourself warned if you haven't tried them before. That said, they are terrific if you know what to expect -- they have a really complex and unique flavor)
    ginger to taste, peeled and finely chopped
    salt to taste (I tend to salt just before serving because it's hard to tell prior how much seasoning the jook will require)
    1/8 teaspoon of five spice
    I put everything into the Instant Pot and set it to pressure cook for 30 minutes followed by a slow pressure release (i.e. I don't release the pressure but wait for it to reduce pressure on its own). Then I scoop it into a big bowl and eat it. My dad doesn't do it that way. He wouldn't add the pickles or century egg into the pot and, instead, add them as a garnish just prior to serving. Doing it my way is easier, doing it my dad's way would provide you with more textural variety (which some people might appreciate). If you use a carcass, be careful to look out for small bones when you're eating."
  • The intro and outro music is "Whiskey Before Breakfast" which is both a great traditional song and a great accompaniment to listening to Clement's podcast in the morning! It was performed and shared by The Dan River Ramblers under a Creative Commons license.

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