Blackcabbit's World

Bit by bit, the Blackcabbit crafts its nest of DIY handmade art and illustrates a kingdom of doodle critters to beautify the world she lives in.

Nanakusa Gayu – Porridge with the Goodness of Spring

January 7
Tonight, we had something different for dinner. For the first time, I ate the Nanakusa Gayu (七草粥 / Porridge with Seven Grasses or Herbs), which was a tradition that Japanese adopted from Ancient China. Usually, this dish is customarily eaten for breakfast on every January 7th, as a way of wishing a year of sound health.

In contrast to the sumptuous New Year feasting, the porridge may be a plain dish but it has a lot of benefits. According to my MIL, it helps to “clear our digestive systems” since we stuffed ourselves with too much New Year delicacies for the past few days. :P

For convenience sake, almost every supermarkets sell these herbs all in a package.

Here are pictures of the seven plants of spring, and some of their benefits:
Daikon Raddish
Suzushiro (スズシロ / Daikon Raddish) – Reduce coughing, phlegm and sore throat.

Suzuna (すずな/ Turnip) – Packed with vitamins, and good for our skin.

Hakobera (ハコベラ/ Chickweed, Stitchwort) – Prevent Periodontitis.

Nazuna (ナズナ) – Reduces bloodshot eyes.

Hotokenoza (ホトケノザ / Japanese Nipplewort) – Has pain relief effects

Seri (セリ / Japanese Parsley) – Packed with vitamins.

Gogyo (ゴギョウ / Jersey Cudweed) – Has diuretic effects

Recipe (for 2 persons)

Cooking the Seven Herbs Porridge is actually pretty simple and plain.
1. Just add water to a bowl of rice (ratio 3:1) and boil for about 20 mins* on low heat.
2. Mince or cut the seven herbs into small pieces. Then, add into the porridge and cook for another 5-10 mins*.
3. Add salt to taste.
4. Optional: Add 2 pieces of baked Kirimochi (Rice-cake in rectangular shape)

(*Note: U may wish to adjust the cooking time according to your preference on porridge consistency.)


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This entry was posted on January 7, 2011 by in Food / Recipe, Life in Japan and tagged , .
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