Okayu with Mushrooms, Edamame and Matcha Salt

Winnie Abramson, ND

By Winnie Abramson, ND

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.


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


* 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


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!

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