Ginger honey okayu (okay = Japanese rice porridge) is another one of my favorite home remedies when I’m feeling under the weather, in addition to another one of my favorite ways to pair up ginger and honey (remember my Honey Ginger Lemon Tea from last week?)! Okayu (or kayu) is a simple Japanese porridge made by cooking rice in more water than usual, adding a bit of salt and sometimes some toppings. (If you’re familiar with congee, okayu is the Japanese version.) Okayu is a common breakfast dish in Japan, as well as an easy-to-make baby food, or something to eat when you’re feeling under the weather.
I take the easy way out when I make okayu. I use my rice cooker. I’ve made okayu on the stove top many times (stove top cooking instructions included in the recipe!), but inevitably one of the kids needs something and I let the okayu cook too long, and I pass the point of perfection, turning the grains of rice into mush. With my rice cooker, all I have to do is use the “Porridge” setting, and then no matter what distractions my kids might throw my way, I don’t have to worry about ruining the rice!
Speaking of rice cookers, Allison and I are giving away one of Zojirushi’s brand new Micom Rice Cookers that they just released last month! To enter, head on over to our Miso Hungry website (entries open until 11:59 PST on Monday, May 21st, 2012)! While you’re at it, learn more about rice and why we love our rice cookers by listening to episode 17 and episode 18 of Miso Hungry—all about rice!
I love adding a bit of fresh grated ginger to the pot when cooking the rice so that the finished porridge is infused with its spicy sweetness. Adding a drizzle of honey just before serving adds a wonderful balance to the bite of the ginger. Although not traditional, it makes a delicious twist! Now go make yourself a pot of ginger honey okayu and curl up with a good book for some “you” time!
Ginger Honey Okayu (Japanese Rice Porridge)
Makes 4 servings
1 cup uncooked Japanese-style white rice (short grain rice)
5 cups water for thick okayu (7 cups water for thinner okayu)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons honey (use more or less depending on your tastes)
1. Wash the rice in cool water, then drain. Repeat until the water runs clear.
2. To make the okayu in a rice cooker: Put the rice, water, ginger, and salt in the cooking bowl of the rice cooker and gently stir to combine. Cook the rice using the “Porridge” setting. When the rice completes cooking, open the lid and gently stir the rice to loosen it.
3. To make the okayu on the stove top: Put the rice and water in a heavy bottomed pot and let it sit for 30 minutes. Add the salt and ginger, stir to combine, and then cover the pot. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat. When the mixture beings to boil, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook the rice for 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, keeping the pot covered, and let the residual heat steam the rice for 10 minutes. Open the lid and gently stir the rice to loosen it.
4. To serve: Divide the okayu into individual rice bowls. Drizzle one tablespoon of honey over the rice in each bowl and serve.
* Disclosure: Zojirushi is providing the rice cooker for our Miso Hungry giveaway.