Jan 25

Tori Zosui—Japanese Rice & Chicken Porridge

in Chicken/Poultry, Fuji Favorites, Japanese, Main Course, Recipes By Region, Recipes by Type, Rice & Noodles

I love recipes that use up little leftovers bits of previous meals.  Good examples that I’ve shared in the recent past are kalua pig tacos (using leftover kalua pig) and zakkoku mai onigiri (using leftover zakkoku mai).  Tori Zosui is another fantastic recipe that can use up leftovers.  Tori Zosui is a thick rice porridge with chicken.  Zosui is like a poor man’s risotto, and is a perfect way to use up leftover Japanese rice.  Zosui is made by by simmering precooked/leftover rice in an enriched chicken stock until the grains of rice are tender and plump.

Simmering rice in stock

Many recipes direct you to simmer chicken pieces in dashi, while other recipes direct you to make more of a traditional chicken stock and add ingredients like kombu while the stock is cooking to give the stock more flavor.  I’ve cheated in my recipe by using previously prepared chicken stock and simmering a bit of kombu in it to give it added flavor.  A hot bowl of zosui is so comforting, especially when it is cold outside or you are feeling under the weather.  Zosui is also very popular with little ones.  Squirrel often finishes her own bowl of zosui and then wants to eat mine.

Squirrel eating zosuiGuilty as charged.

I usually make zosui when I have leftover roast chicken, but you can poach or roast a chicken breast specifically for your zosui.  (It would also be really good with leftover kalua pig . . . .)  Then you just shred the chicken into small strips, add it to your zosui, and heat it for about a minute until your chicken has heated through.

Cooked shredded chicken

I like to stir in grated ginger at the end and garnish my zosui with sliced scallions for extra flavor.

Tori Zosui---Japanese Rice & Chicken Porridge

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Tori Zosui—Japanese Rice & Chicken Porridge

Makes 2 – 3 servings

2 cups chicken stock
12 — 13 square inches dashi kombu
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/4 — 1 1/2 cups cooked Japanese rice
1/3 — 1/2 pound cooked chicken (skin and bones removed), shredded into thin strips about 1/4-inch wide and 1 1/2-inches long
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 – 3 scallions, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Put the chicken stock and kombu in a pot.  To draw out maximum flavor, let the kombu soak for 10 to 15 minutes before placing the pot over high heat.  Bring the stock to a boil over high heat.  When the stock begins to boil, remove the kombu and discard it.  Turn down the heat to low heat  and season the stock with the black pepper.  Keep the broth at a simmer.

2. Place the cooked rice in a strainer and rinse under cold water to separate the grains and remove any excess starch.  Drain the rice thoroughly before adding it to the chicken stock.  Add the rice to the stock and simmer it in the stock over low heat for 10 minutes, or until each grain of rice swells to at least twice its original size.

3. Add the chicken strips to the simmering rice soup and cook until it has heated through, about 1 minute.

4. Add the grated ginger to the pot and stir.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately in deep bowls and sprinkle with the sliced scallions.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria January 25, 2010 at 11:37 am

I love finding new recipes to try with leftovers too. Looks great and she is a doll:)


[email protected] January 25, 2010 at 11:54 am

i am in! this looks delightful, and i think it might almost work with my challenge this week of spending less than $18/day on food for my family. almost… with a few modifications. and what a little cutie pie- i can’t wait for that stage- so full of delight!


The Cooking Ninja January 25, 2010 at 11:57 am

This reminds me of Chinese Chicken or Fish porridge that my mom often makes at home. So full of flavour and delicious.


Fuji Mama (Rachael) January 25, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Cooking Ninja– This is actually the Japanese “cousin” to that porridge that you’re talking about! There is another Japanese version called okayu that starts with uncooked rice and is much blander–usually fed to babies and people with colds!


Food Woolf January 25, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I’m really loving all of your leftover rice ideas. Can’t wait to make this one too!


cocopuff1212 January 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Ginger often helps when we don’t have much appetite (not to mention having medicinal values), so it totally makes sense to eat this dish the way you prepare it when we don’t feel well.

Your little one is SOOO cute!


LollyChops January 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I adore recipes like this! It’s comfort food completely!


Lyndsey January 25, 2010 at 12:56 pm

What a lovely dish. I agree with LollyChops, comfort food. Nice photos.

Your daughter is adorable!!


Juls @ Juls' Kitchen January 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm

this is the best way to give new life to leftovers!
Amazing! I’m sure I would love this rice!


Bob January 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I have to admit, when I saw “chicken porridge” I was mildly concerned. This looks great though!


qsogirl January 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm

oh, that sounds like such a wonderful comfort food… and your daughter is so adorable!!


Cam de la Ron January 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Mmh, I love almost any type of chicken soup or porridge. This looks wonderful. Do you think it would work well with my whole grain jasmine rice?? -Cam


Fuji Mama (Rachael) January 25, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Cam (Cam de la Ron)– You can use jasmine rice, the texture just won’t be the same (not as much like a risotto). But I’m sure it will still be good!


Drick January 25, 2010 at 5:07 pm

she is cute as a button, as we say down here … love using leftovers… nice read


[email protected] January 25, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Great dish and use of leftovers! You’re the best Rachael!


tigerfish January 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm

I would definitely love this as I am quite a “porridge” person :D


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction January 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Looks like a warm and hearty dish… Love the pretty green of the scallions on the top!


The Cooking Ninja January 26, 2010 at 8:25 am

My mom usually cook the porridge using dried anchovies as based for broth, then she would add coriander & spring onion with some fried shallots n its oil. But we also do cook the bland type of porridge when we are sick. :)


Tiny Urban Kitchen January 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm

I love porridge – from all different cultures! I’m not sure if I’ve ever tried the Japanese version, come to think of it. But I just bought a huge pack of kombu, so maybe it’s time to try! And that photo makes me want some NOW!


zurin January 27, 2010 at 6:34 am

porridge is so comforting altho I never grew up on it. strange but true. seeing yours I mvery inclined to have a bowl tomorrow! :))


[email protected] in Iowa January 27, 2010 at 9:24 am

This looks so good. Porridge, so comforting!


B. Cunningham January 27, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I just made this tonight with leftover roast pork, and doctored it up with a little cinnamon, curry, garlic, and soy sauce (instead of salt). Delicious!


the lacquer spoon January 27, 2010 at 9:50 pm

My family loves Tori Zosui to finish up a hotpot dish, utilising chicken wings for the broth :)


Melanie (Kimono Reincarnate) January 28, 2010 at 3:42 am

Oh yum! This my favourite winter breakfast. Once it starts cooling down here, I now know how to make it (if I haven’t had nabe the night before).


Kitchen Monki Dan January 29, 2010 at 4:00 pm

looks like a version of ‘Jook’, a korean rice porridge my mom used to feed it to me as a kid when i was sick. she always threw in cloves of garlic as well so that it would help me get rid of any bug i had. ah, the memories.


Fuji Mama (Rachael) January 29, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Kitchen Monki Dan– It very similar to jook!


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