Okayu, plus some.

This lunch started as some simple okayu, or Japanese rice porridge. I had felt the beginning of a sore throat over the last few days and needed some comfort food and I didn’t get to have one of my favorites yesterday, the egg noodle soup at Saffron. Okayu is my second favorite comfort food. I put of pot of this one the stove and then cooked up some fresh padrón peppers. Delicious! But I still had some fresh yellow and purple beans, cherry tomatoes, and sugar snap peas on the counter. I really wanted to eat them today, fresh that day from the garden.

So, after the okayu cooked up, I put a few scoops in a bowl, and chopped up the clean veggies to put on top. It needed some more body so I put some canned sardines in olive oil on top. Was this French or Asian? I kept thinking, this would be good and very French(ish) if I had some boiled sliced potatoes, but I wanted that rice, the okayu, so I plodded on.

So if this was going to be Asian, I’d run with it and use Asian toppings to spice it up. So much for my simple rice porridge. After a small dash of soy sauce, a sprinkling of nori fumi furikake (a delicious seaweed, sesame, and other spice rice seasoning), and a dollop of chili garlic sauce, I had my lunch. It may sound weird and the sardines are probably not for all, but it was delicious!


Okayu – Rice Porridge
from this site

Okayu (rice borridge) is easy to digest, so people in Japan commonly eat it when having a cold or so on. This is a basic recipe to make plain okayu. Various ingredients such as chicken and radishes can be added if desired.
Yield: 2 servings


1/2 cup Japanese rice (short grain rice)
3 cups water (adjust the amount of water based on your preference)
1/2 tsp salt
for toppings (optional):
chopped green onion
sesame seeds
umeboshi (ume pickles)

Wash Japanese rice and drain. Put water and rice in a heavy bottomed pot or earthenware pot. Leave it for about 30 minutes. Cover the pot and put it on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and cook the rice for about 30 minutes. Stop the heat and let it steam for about 10 minutes. Season with salt. Serve into individual rice bowls. Put toppings, such as chopped green onion, sesame seeds, or/and umeboshi if you would like.


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