Rice Porridge with Seven Spring Herbs – Nanakusa Gayu –

You might have had many celebrations this past holiday season.  How many parties did you attend?  Did you enjoy them very much? Japanese people also throw many parties this time of year. We eat and drink a lot!!

Even if there is no party, we usually have special deluxe dishes called “osechi” and many rice cakes called “mochi” at new year’s time. It’s one of the most fun times in the year!!

But on the other hand, those yummy dishes and drinks make our stomachs very tired… (I’m sure my stomach is getting tired ^^;)  Long ago, to give our stomaches a rest, we established a custom of eating very simple rice porridge with seven spring herbs called “nanakusa-gayu” every January 7th. Don’t you think people of old were very smart ^^?


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Traditional nanakusa-gayu originally contained seven kinds of green vegetables and herbs. Some of them are now very rare and it’s hard to find them at a store, even in Japan.

So today,  I’ll tell you an super easy recipe ;D


[Ingredients for 4 people]

* rice  1 cup

* water  8 cups

* salt  1/2~1 tea spoon (as you like!)

* green leaf vegetables and herbs (ex. spinach, radish leaf, and turnip leaf)


You don’t have to prepare all seven kinds. Four or five is enough. If you can get Japanese vegetables called “mitsuba” and “komatsuna”, that will be perfect!


1) Wash rice until the water becomes clear, and drain water into colander

2) Leave the rice for more than 30 mins.

3) Put the rice in a deep pan and add water.

4) Cook it over high flame >> then medium flame after boiling for 40~50 mins.

5) Wash green vegetables and chop them into small pieces.

6) Add salt into (4) after the soup becomes thick.

7) Add vegetables into (6) and leave it for a minute.


That’s it! Easy, isn’t it ^^?


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If you are in Japan, it’s much more convenient to use a nanakusa-gayu set like in the photo above. I guess you can find this kind of handy set easily at any regular supermarket.

Why don’t you give it a try and let your stomach take a rest ^^!?


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