Incorporating traditional Japanese ingredients into diet can be a useful way to make healthy, protein-rich, and easy to digest meals during treatment. One particularly healing dish, okayu, this Japanese Rice Porridge, is comforting and... simple. It’s especially simple when having leftover rice.
Cover rice with water and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Add ginger and cook for another 10 minutes. Add more water if a soupier consistency is desired. Season with salt.
Remove from heat and serve with scallions, sesame seeds, kimchi, or an umeboshi plum (see Chef Tips). For additional protein, add grilled or baked tofu, or a poached or hardboiled egg, diced chicken, or smoked salmon.
Use white rice and omit the optional ingredients if you are having digestive problems, experiencing diarrhea, or on a low-fiber and/or bland diet.
Okayu makes for a delicious savory change from oatmeal for breakfast. Here’s a way to make it the night before with uncooked rice:
1. Wash ½ cup of rice and put it into a pan with 3-4 times its volume of water. Bring it to a boil, cover tightly, then turn off the heat and leave overnight.
2. By the morning, the rice will have soaked up nearly all of the water. Add more water to taste, depending on how soupy you prefer the oyaku. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes stirring from time to time. If it gets too thick, add a little boiling water. Serve with recommended toppings.