Gingery Rice Porridge

Ozosui

I can’t think of a tastier way of using leftover rice than to add it to this thick soup. Many Japanese enjoy ozosui when they’re down with a cold or upset stomach from overeating; it’s that final touch of ginger that both opens up nasal passages and aids in digestion. But there’s no need to wait until you’ve caught a chill before trying this marvelous soup-that’s-a-meal.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups dashi (Basic Soup Stock) or 3 cups Oriental Chicken Broth
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1½–2 cups cooked rice (leftovers are perfect)
  • 1 chicken breast (leftovers from Cold Steamed Chicken, or Salt-Grilled Chicken Breasts, are fine)
  • 1–2 small shiitaké (black Oriental mushrooms), softened in warm water for 20 minutes
  • 4–5 green leaves (spinach, collard greens, or chrysanthemum leaves)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1–1½ teaspoons ginger juice, extracted from peeled and grated fresh ginger

Method

In a saucepan, heat through the basic stock or chicken broth and season it with the salt and soy sauce. In a fine-meshed strainer or colander, rinse the cooked rice in cold water so that each grain is separate. Drain the rice well.

If you’ve got some steamed or grilled chicken left over, just shred it by hand into thin strips and toss them into the soup. If you’re starting with uncooked chicken, skin and bone it and cut it into extra fine julienne (for a more delicate flavor sprinkle a few drops of rice wine over the chicken). In a separate small saucepan, blanch the chicken for 30–40 seconds, until barely white. Drain the chicken and add it to the soup. Slice the softened black mushrooms into thin julienne strips and add them to the soup. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8–10 minutes. Add the rice, stirring.

Wash and pat dry the green leaves and quickly blanch them in boiling salted water until barely wilted. Drain and squeeze out all excess liquid before chopping the leaves coarsely. Toss them into the soup.

Bring the soup to a boil rapidly, then stir it clockwise with a ladle or chops tick. Pour in the beaten egg, remove the soup from the heat and stir counterclockwise. Cover the pot for 30–40 seconds, then add the ginger juice. Stir and serve immediately.

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