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… Read More

New Year’s Eve and soba

Though I’m from southern California, Japan is my home now. Since this blog starts just after the New Year I’ve been thinking to show you what a year in the life is like here through food. This is toshikoshi soba. Soba, a noodle made from buckwheat, is rolled very long and eaten in a simple soup just before midnight on new year’s eve to symbolise long life, luck and prosperity. There are lots of add-ins. (I like thinly sliced leeks and tempura.) This year we went with jumbo shrimp. Personally, I prefer… Read More