Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Nanakusagayu (Seven-Herb Rice Porridge)

Nanakusagayu is the seven-herb rice porridge that we eat in the morning of January 7th to bring longevity and health.

Below are the nanakusa (seven herbs):
- Seri (water dropwort, Oenanthe javanica)
- Nazuna (shepherd's purse)
- Gogyō (cudweed, gnaphalium affine)
- Hakobera (chickweed, stellaria media)
- Hotokenoza (nipplewort, lapsana apogonoides)
- Suzuna (turnip)
- Suzushiro (Daikon)

This morning we had it for breakfast. Every year, I cook it at the night of 1/7 because those herbs go on sale after work, but this year I bought them at the regular price to keep the tradition!

However, my boyfriend had a new year's party last night and he e-mailed me this morning that he couldn't come home. I was so shocked and told him that I wouldn't cook at night and then he came home immediately. Whew...

What a busy morning! I think I am done for today. Ha-ha!

Nanakusagayu (Seven-Herb Rice Porridge)

Difficulty: Very Easy
Time: 10min
Number of servings: 2

70g nanakusa (seven herbs)
250g (8.8oz.) cooked white rice (Japanese short-grain rice)
5cm dried kelp (or a pinch of kelp dashi powder is OK)
450cc water
2 mochi (Japanese rice cake) if desired
a pinch of salt

1. Wash nanakusa.

2. Lightly boil nanakusa, cut roots, and chop.

3. Combine the water and kelp in a large pot. Bring the water to a boil.

4. When kelp softens, add the cooked white rice.

5. Add nanakusa and lightly season with salt.

6. Toast mochi. If desired.

7. Quickly place the toasted mochi in individual soup bowls and pour 5. over the top.

Traditionally, we don't add mochi but I add them to full my stomach in the morning ;)

My original recipe in Japanese is here.

Of course you can only use daikon radish or whatever ingredients you like to cook this porridge! Tastes good and good for your stomach after the new year's big meal ;)

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  1. Konbanwa Ochi,

    You are making me so hungry for Japanese food! I think I'll make my seaweed tomorrow! I must make the trip to Japanese store sometime soon!

    I don't use many of these herbs. I do know the Daikon, and I ran out of my dried shitake mushrooms. I love to make soup from them!

    Good you told your boyfriend to come home and eat. You must keep him in line! :)

  2. Hi jo,

    I hope your cold is getting better!

    I always stock dried shitake and dried seaweed since they keep longer ;)
    Good idea to stock them!!!

    If he didn't come home, I really didn't feel like cooking it at night because I bought the herbs at the regular price, you know! He knew I am fussy about the food budget. Ha-ha!!!

  3. Hi Ochisan,wow!you have a beautiful and long hair.

    anyway,about your question.well it's just a normal traffic,after a long vacation here in my country.
    because,when vacation started,the road is little bit relaxed and smooth.
    but now,returned to normal traffic.

    But,about your post today,i watched NHK yesterday,and the topic is all about nanakusagayu.
    and my husband explained for me,so now i understand.

  4. Hi Ochi,

    I want your recipes..It seem so delicious..

    I think that I love Japanese food mainly because influence from you,Ochi...Thanks for sharing so many nice dishes..

  5. Good Morning!

    In my love to eat post,yes,we cooked sukiyaki but,unlike restaurant style.and only this time,we have a sukiyaki beef,because my sister in-law in japan,she sent me a beef,but of course my husband's hand carry only,because will not eat meat,just seafood.

    my kabuhayang pinoy post,he is a man that asking someone,if they want to sell a used bottled,plastic,or newspapers.

    I'm sorry,if you asked me everytime.
    next post,i will try to explain first,so you don't have to worry,what it's all about.

    Thank you so much for your understanding always....

    have a nice day!

  6. Hello merce,

    Really?! Do you drive?

    Here in Japan, many people return to their hometowns, making expressways and trains extremely crowded!!!

    Nice your husband explained it to you ;)

  7. Hi jose,

    I translated the recipe!
    I was somehow lazy to translate, but you made me push through ;)

  8. Hello again merce,

    Now I got it! The beef was more like Japanese, so I wondered!!!
    You don't eat meat?!

    That man, I couldn't guess that. Very interesting!!!

    Thank you for the answers to my questions. In this way, I could know more about your country, which is very informative ;)

  9. Sorry,i mean my husband cannot eat any kind of meats.
    speaking of driving,i'm afraid..specially in my country,some taxis will not follow the lanes, motorcycle,and others.

    But,during my vacation in japan,my husband always used green car for me,so he don't need to worry every time if there's so many people,or too much crowded i can't hold the bar,and too much tight,soon i'd got dizzy.

    But anyway,man's cart inside i will try to show you next time,if i can get photos.

  10. Hi merce,

    Oh, you drive a car in Japan?! That's amazing! I have a license, but I can't... I mean I won't! Ha-ha!!!

    >>man's cart
    Sounds interesting ;)

  11. i mean,train!how do you called that card?

    anyway,i don't like waterslides,but i loved to watched them.

  12. Hi merce,

    Hmm... Green car? Train?
    Maybe you can ask your hubby and tell me in Japanse. But don't worry, at least I understood you meant it for train ;)

    Now none around me like waterslides or karaoke... am I still a child? Ha-ha!!!

  13. Hi Ochi,

    Your recipe looks so good, with all the green herbs. I don't think they are readily available here! How do you toast mochi! I need to eat more healthy foods! Excercise to gain more muscle! All the things you are doing are good! :)

  14. Thanks Tornadoes28,

    I hope you like Japanese food as well ;)

  15. Ohayo jo,

    After 1/7, those herbs are not available at stores in Japan, too. Those are very special like Brazilian nuts! But still, there are some freeze-dried nanakusa. Those might be availabe at Asian stores in the US!!!

    I toast mochi with a toaster oven. I do exercise every day since last August, but still not losing weight... I know muscle is heavier than fat, but what a pity!!! I try not to eat much, so verrrrry strange :(


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