“Nanakusa gayu” (7 spring weed congee)
According to Wikipedia,
“The seventh of the first month has been an important Japanese festival since ancient times. The custom of eating nanakusa-gayu on this day, to bring longevity and health, developed in Japan from a similar ancient Chinese custom, intended to ward off evil. Since there is little green at that time of the year, the young green herbs bring color to the table and eating them suits the spirit of the New Year.”
As well as it is for resting & healing the hard worked stomach from the new year’s rich, festive food.
I can’t have the plants until spring in Vancouver, but wait! Found some green plants outside.
However..I don’t have that much desire to go to wet forest ( Vancouver is rain almost all winter).
So that I made western version of the congee - less number of plants but I’d call “Nanakusa” risotto.
My method is hybrid of risotto & cooking rice in Japanese style. Japanese cook rice very thoughtfully. Control the heat, water- all for the texture of rice.
I found the idea of Risotto is a bit similar to japanese rice cooking method because Italians really think about the texture of rice and the liquid.
Nanakusa risotto - Yeld for 2people
Onion 1/4 piece, small diced
Garlic I clove, minced
Carrot 1 inches Julian
Radish red or white with top 1 piece, radish top : chopped. Raddish : Very thinly sliced
Rapini 2-3 pieces cut in 1 - 2 inches
Watercress cut in 1-2 inches
(If you can find dandelion leaves, that’s great adding too)
Dashi stock 2Lb
Evo 2 TB or more
Nutritional yeast 1/2 tsp
Coconut oil or evo to finish(2TB or as you like)
Salt to taste
Put oil in a frying pan, on medium high heat, stir fry the onion and a little bit of salt until slightly caramelized.
Add rice and toast them until the rice mixture have gotten good smell, then lower the heat as medium heat.
Add dashi stock carefully at first, little by little. You will continue keeping adding liquid, about 1cup each time.
At first 15 min, on medium heat and sort of boil the rice to be fluffed up them but keep stirring. Then change the heat to medium low heat . Keep stirring, wait to add next ladle until the rice absorbed the liquid.
Keep adding the liquid, at this point (photo), lower the heat. Keep stirring sometimes but not too often to avoid breaking the rice.
When the rice get your desired point(aldente or whatever), as well as until the sauce gets creamy, add seasoning.
Nutritional yeast and salt, add rapini, to get them slightly to be cooked.
Add carrot, chopped radish top.
Lastly add water cress and sliced radish.
Finish salt, coconut oil.
Add “good amount” of salt is a key point since the vegetables are just slightly cooked, the moisture would thin out the saltiness.
Tomoko Tahara A.K.A.#cookhatter
<Restaurans in Vancouver>
The Acorn : Vegetarian restaurant
The birds and beets : Cafe
Cacao Vancouver:Modern latin
The mackenzieroom:Modern coastal
Birds and beets
Tempea food: tempeh maker
<Restaurant in Japan>
Bon Gout: Bakery and wine
Bar Pancho:Spanish tapas
Takanoya :Gastro pub