(image from Wikipedia)Yesterday it was the 7th day of January 2012. It was the day for Japanese to have a traditional meal called "seven-herb rice porridge." Seven days have passed since the beginning of the New Year and we've been enjoying eating and drinking quite a lot with families and friends. Now many people are back to our usual life after a long holiday. It's time to give our stomach a rest for something simple and good for digestion. So here what it is. "Seven-herb rice porridge."
Speaking of seven herb, if you ask your Japanese friends, they might not be able to name all of them. Some are not familiar to us any more. So for my own sake, here I wrote down the list below:
Seri (water dropwort, Oenanthe javanica)
Nazuna (shepherd's purse)
Gogyō (cudweed, gnaphalium affine)
Hakobera (chickweed, stellaria media)
Hotokenoza (nipplewort, lapsana apogonoides)
Suzushiro (Japanese white radish)
While cooking rice porridge, I prepared all these vegetable cutting into slice or dice and just before rice porridge done, I put all of them onto rice in a pan and steamed for awhile. Done. Here you are.
I love this custom of eating this rice porridge with herbs in the 7th morning of the new year. It has been widely accepted as a good fortune as well. I learned that this custom begun way back about 1,200 years ago in the ancient aristocratic society to ward off the evils at the beginning of the year. Noways we have this meal wishing for our good health and longevity.
Yesterday I used brown rice for porridge and we had it along with several side dish to go along with plain taste of rice porridge such as "umeboshi" pickled plums, "tsukudani"fish boiled in soy sauce & sugar with ginger and other spices and other tasty local products.
Dig in before it gets cold!