Okayu is a Japanese porridge renowned for its ability to cure anything from garden-variety stomach ailments to hangovers. Healing properties aside, I just love it as a savory breakfast.

okayu

To make okayu, you use a larger volume of liquid than is typically used to make rice and you cook it for a fairly long time: you want the result to be “soupy”.

There are many ways to make okayu, but often it is quite plain: with white rice, water, and maybe a little poached chicken. Here I’ve used more nutritious brown rice and added some flavorful stock, vegetables, and garnishes.

The idea for the matcha salt isn’t mine; it’s from Eric Gower. To make it, mix 1/4 cup course sea salt with 1 teaspoon of powdered matcha green tea. Use as a finishing salt for the okayu.

Recipe for Okayu
serves 4

Ingredients:

* 1 cup short grain brown rice, rinsed
* 4 cups homemade vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water
* 2-4 cups water
* 1/2 cup dried mushrooms (I used porcinis; feel free to use another variety such as shiitakes)
* 1 cup shelled edamame (young green soybeans available in the freezer section of most large supermarkets)
* 4 tablespoons minced green onions- for serving
* 4 tablespoons minced all-natural pickled ginger (sushi ginger)- for serving
* matcha salt- for serving (see above)
*a drizzle of toasted sesame oil for serving- optional

Directions:

Place brown rice and 4 cups of the stock or water in a large pot on the stove. Add 2 more cups of water and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes- 1 hour. Add the additional 2 cups of water only if too much water is getting absorbed; remember that you want the end result to be “soupy”.

Add the edamame and the dried mushrooms and cook for another 30-45 minutes, again adding additional water if necessary.

When it has finished cooking, scoop the okayu into individual serving dishes and top each one tablespoon each of the minced green onion and the pickled ginger. Add a drizzle of the optional sesame oil and a generous sprinkling of the matcha salt before serving; I also love this with an egg cooked in organic coconut oil served on top!

 

7 Comments

  1. 1

    Eric Nissen — February 20, 2010 @ 12:38 am

    Hi Winnie,
    I have fresh Shiitakes. How would I modify the recipe to include those?

  2. 2

    drwinnie — February 20, 2010 @ 3:27 pm

    Eric,
    I would use about 1 cup of sliced fresh shiitakes, maybe a bit more…I don’t know how many you have. I don’t think any other modifications are necessary, just keep an eye on the liquids because maybe you’ll need less with the fresh mushrooms…let me know how it turns out!

  3. 3

    Hannah — February 21, 2010 @ 11:32 am

    Oh, yum!! I’m a big fan of congee but this looks fantastic as a substitute with a little more “bite”. Also, I just snacked on half a pound of edamame plain, and now think they would have been far more suited to this dish :D

  4. 4

    Nicole — February 23, 2010 @ 6:22 am

    Hi Winnie,

    Thank you so much for posting this! I can only say, “WOW!” I’m in breakfast heaven. I just found your blog last night and when I woke up this morning, I had a craving for Okayu – without ever having had Okayu before. :)

    I made up a version this morning. I linked back to your recipe so people could have another variation. Unfortunately, I seem to be out of mushrooms, dried or otherwise, & edamame. I bet they are fantastic with the rice. I used peas, added some thin strips of carrot and instead of rice, I used pearl spelt and I added a bit of kombu dashi to the “rice” while it cooked to add a bit of umami. I devoured every last grain of “rice.” You’re right the fried egg on top is lovely.

    I have a question though. Do you think this could be made the night before and reheated for breakfast? 1 hour in the morning on the stove top is a bit much for my foggy brain. Thanks again for a great post and inspiration!

  5. 5

    drwinnie — February 23, 2010 @ 6:32 am

    Nicole,
    You can most certainly make this the night before! I made a large batch and reheated it all week for myself- nothing wrong with morning time saving techniques!

  6. 6

    Nicole — February 23, 2010 @ 6:58 am

    Thanks for letting me know…although with a big batch, I’d be tempted to eat the entire thing the first day of the week. Thanks for your ochazuke recipe as well!

  7. 7

    Kevin — February 28, 2010 @ 6:46 am

    This looks tasty! I like the sound of matcha salt.

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