|Okayu - Japanese Rice Porridge|
RICE TO THE RESCUE
When I fell in love with Japanese cuisine over two decades ago, while attending a macrobiotic health conference in Santa Barbara, California, I had no idea that it would become my favorite adopted food culture. When I am feeling under the weather it is Japanese food that I turn to for my remedy of choice. I don't know what it is about Japanese food, but it has become my quintessential comfort food. When I have an occasional tummy upset, or tension in my neck, what my acupuncturist often refers to as liver qi overpowering stomach qi, nothing hits the spot like a comforting bowl of okayu, or Japanese rice porridge, with a bit of umeboshi plum, which is aptly called Japanese alka-seltzer, or sliced scallion. Okayu, the eastern equivalent to a bowl of oatmeal, is light, bland, and infinitely easy to digest.
As an interesting aside, Sushi rolls, in fact, when I am sick my husband will usually run out and buy a sushi roll for me at Whole Foods Market, a bowl of miso soup, and baked mochi, likewise, all seem to have, what I consider, a near miraculous curative effect.
RECIPE FOR OKAYU - Serves 1 - 2
1/2 c. white or brown short grain rice
4 c. water or chicken stock
1 - 2 inches kombu sea vegetable
small piece of ginger root
1/2 t. sea salt
Rinse rice well. Place all ingredients in a small crock pot. I have one from chef mate that I like. Turn the crock pot on low and simmer for 8 hours or over night.