Okayu is Japanese rice porridge. It is usually eaten for breakfast in Japan with tsukemono (preserved vegetables), soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Okayu is quite thick as the water to water-to-rice ratio is a little less than Chinese congee. It is also boiled for a shorter period of time with the rice grains more or less intact.
Zakkokumai (mixed grain) is becoming increasingly popular and may include brown rice, red rice, black rice, millet, amaranth, quinoa, barley, oats, and sesame seeds. Normally, a tablespoon of zakkokumai is added to a cup of white rice and cooked as usual in the rice cooker or on the stove. This is a good way to include whole grains into one’s diet. You can easily create your own mixes with grains of your choice.
I am using a combination of medium grain white and brown rice combined with buckwheat groats in this Mixed Grain Okayu. Buckwheat groats are hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant with a mild, nutty flavor. It can be purchased at Asian and health food stores.
This Mixed Grain Okayu is my adaption of a porridge we once encountered in Yokohama. It has a slightly nutty flavor coming from the brown rice and buckwheat groats. This porridge is healthy and quite delicious. Do give it a try.
- ½ cup (100g) short grain rice
- ½ cup (100g) brown rice
- ¼ cup (buckwheat groats)
- ¼ cup (60ml) soy sauce
- ¼ cup (60ml) mirin
- 1 tsp dashi
- 4 shitake mushrooms
- 2 abura-age (fried tofu pouches) or 8 small deep fried tofu puffs, sliced
- 2 eggs
- 2 green onions, finely sliced
- 2 to 3 umeboshi (pickled plum)
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Sichimi togarashi (seven spice chili pepper)
- Rinse shitake mushrooms and soak in hot water until soften, about 20 minutes. Remove stems and slice caps thinly. Reserve soaking liquid. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- In a medium sized pot, combine white rice, brown rice, and buckwheat groats. Rinse and drain until water runs clear, about 4 to 5 times.
- Combine water with reserved mushroom soaking liquid to make a total of 5 cups (1.2 liters). Pour into pot with mixed grains and dashi. Bring to a boil. Add mushrooms, soy sauce, and mirin.
- Add sliced tofu and salt (if needed) and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. If porridge appears to be a little too thick, add some water to bring to desired consistency.
- Beat eggs lightly in a small bowl. Pour into the porridge and swirl with a fork. Turn off stove.
- Serve in bowls topped with sliced green onions, umeboshi, toasted sesame seeds, and sichimi togarashi.
Here is a fun and relaxing activity the family enjoys from late spring through early fall in our backyard. A good time and place to savor a cup of tea. 🙂
NOTE: This post was updated on August 12th, 2014 with new pictures. Some changes were made to the recipe.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎