Okayu is Japanese rice porridge. It is often eaten when people are not feeling well. It has a very mild taste and it’s easy to digest, making it a perfect food when you don’t have much of an appetite. Okayu is also eaten for breakfast sometimes. For example, some hotel restaurants there serve Okayu in a breakfast buffet.
There are different kinds of rice porridges all over the world, but in Japan, it is usually made from white rice and water. The water to rice ratio could be anything from 20 to 5 times as much water as rice. It could be a very watery porridge if you add a lot of water, or it can have almost no liquid left if you use less, obviously. Depending on your liking and use, change the amount of water and cooking time. You could also use cooked rice instead of raw rice to make Okayu, but cooked rice can break apart more and the water becomes very thick.
For the flavoring of the porridge, the most popular topping is Umeboshi. Umeboshi is sour and salty pickled plum, and its taste goes with rice very well. You could also cook Okayu with eggs or sweet potatoes. Chagayu is tea porridge and originally from the cuisine of monks, but it is also a popular regional food in the old cities of Nara and Kyoto. We also eat a kind of Okayu called Nanakusagayu with 7 spring herbs in January 7th to hope for a good new year.
Okayu is also used today as a weight-loss diet food to eat less rice… Whether you are on a diet or sick or not, it is still a tasty rice dish, so try it!
- 1/2 cup (120ml) white rice
- 3 1/2 (780ml) cup water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Wash rice, and put rice and water in a pot. Set on the stove at medium heat, add salt, and stir.
- When it has started boiling, partially cover with a a lid, and cook at low heat for another 30-40 minutes.