Seven Herbs: Seven Days: Nanakusagayu
Seven days after the new year Japanese people eat okayu, a kind of rice porridge, flavoured with seven herbs. The dish is called nanakusagayu, or Seven Herbs Okayu.
It’s not delicious. It’s traditional. It’s a way to count the progression of the year — one week has already passed. Like Valentine’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, onwards and forewords we travel through the year until we’re back where we started one year further on. Nanakusagayu. It’s that time again.
To make okayu you’ll need a ratio of 1:5 rice:water, though some families add up to 1:10. My host family made it with 1:5 and thinned it out with two cups of fresh hot green tea, but those are recipes for another day and the point of this post is something else:
One week into the new year, are you on track with what you want? Stop. Think. Adjust.
I definitely wouldn’t eat this everyday, but once a year it’s a good reminder that spring is coming, time move quickly, and that a new year has begun.