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Japanese Seven Herb Porridge Inspired Dish

Seven Herb Porridge - Nanakusa Gayu inspired Green Rice Soup

Nanakusa Gayu is a special Japanese seasonal dish that celebrates seasonal wild herbs and nourish people especially in times of vulnerability.

I only had access to one of the traditional herbs used, chickweed. So, I have used the dish as an inspiration and adapted it to the medicinal herbs I have growing at the moment. I love the idea of this dish, the way it celebrates local seasonal herbs, the way it uses medicinal herbs for a simple dish and the way it can be cooked easily. Perfect for the postpartum mama, kids or someone with a cold or needing and immune boost. Really, it’s great for anyone.

The herbs I used are:

· Chickweed

· Parsley

· Coriander

· Dandelion leaves

· Sow Thistle leaves

· Calendula leaves

· Purple Basil

· Spring Onions

Ok so that’s 8 herbs but I used the spring onions as more of a fresh garnish on top.

Basically you make a rice soup with a stock. This could be bone and or seaweed broth. Cook the rice well covered with broth on a low simmer until rice is soft and breaking up and soupy in texture. I added quinoa for extra protein also.I added in all of the herbs chopped finely about 10 minutes before the soup was ready.

I also made a mixed herb pesto with a number of the above herbs, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, macadamia nuts (you can use any local nuts and seeds) and add some pesto into soup as I serve it – for an extra flavour and health kick.

I enjoyed this with a little fish sauce but it would also be great with tamari or salt. I hope you feel inspired to make something similar! Please tag me if you do.

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