“Nanakusa-gayu”Using Leftovers for a Vibrant Herbal Porridge | The Secret Recipe to Stay Fit!

“Nanakusa-gayu”Using Leftovers for a Vibrant Herbal Porridge | The Secret Recipe to Stay Fit!

Purifying Nanakusa Gayu Porridge for the New Year

On January 7th, Japanese tradition calls for savoring “Nanakusa Gayu” – a Seven Herbs Porridge. After days of indulgent Osechi feasts, this wholesome bowl cleanses both body and spirit while setting intentions for health in the coming year.

Beyond auspiciousness, nanakusa gayu provides post-holiday detoxification, easing back into rhythms of moderation. The warmth nourishes without overburdening while the medicinal herbs promote self-care aligned to ayurvedic wisdom.

It doesn’t have to be 7 herbs

I made Nanakusa Gayu this New Year with leftover ingredients from Osechi dishes to make it accessible. Choose vegetables that are not starchy. (×kabocha ×potato)

In Japan, you will find pre-set seven herbs in a pack. It’s convenient but a bit pricy. If you use your leftovers you can make your rice porridge to your preference and you can save money at the same time!

Give your system a true detox by preparing Nanakusa Gayu using my time-tested recipe passed down through generations. As you stir local herbs or vegetables into steaming rice porridge, reflect on dietary intentions that serve both body and spirit in the year ahead.

Nanakusa Gayu

“Nanakusa-gayu”Using Leftovers for a Vibrant Herbal Porridge | The Secret Recipe to Stay Fit!
Prep Time 6 hours
Soaking Time 45 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 45 minutes
Course Breakfast, light dinner, lunch,
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 6 people


  • 1 Donabe or heavy bottomed pot


  • 1 rice cup 1 rice cup (180ml) Brown Rice
  • 8 rice cup Water
  • 200~300 grams Assorted chopped vegetables (daikon, carrot, onions, etc.)
  • Mitsuba leaves for garnish
  • Side condiments like umeboshi, pickled vegetables


  • Soak brown rice overnight, then drain and transfer to a heavy pot with 8 cups water. Cook for 40 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, make Kombu Tsukudani by simmering leftover dashi kelp and shiitakes in soy sauce, mirin and sugar until soft but bouncy texture.
  • Once porridge base cooked, mix in sliced daikon, carrots and white onions. Cook 5 more minutes.
  • Finish by mixing in chopped green onions and garnishing with mitsuba. Allow to sit before serving.
  • Serve porridge in bowls with tsukudani mix-ins and salty sides like umeboshi for contrast.
Keyword Japanese New Year, nanakusa Gayu, rice porridge
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