By thomas | September 1, 2007
It happens to the best of us. We come home from a long day of work and we’re hungry.
Rice takes time to cook, so we start there. We measure out a cup or two of rice, lift the lid of our rice cooker, and see this:
Oh no! That’s the rice I made two days ago but forgot to eat. It used to be white, fluffy and moist, but now it is dry, crunchy and yellowish. I could eat it, but I risk breaking my teeth.
In the past, old rice in the rice cooker was a signal for me to open the trash up, but there’s a better way: zousui.
Zousui (雑炊 [ぞうすい]) is Japanese for rice soup. The reason our rice is hard and crunchy is that it is dehydrated. All we have to do is add water and a little heat and our rice is back to proper edible form.
- Here’s what we do:
- Put the old rice in a pot.
- Add enough water to cover the rice. If you want a thicker soup, use less water. For a more watery soup, use more water.
- Put a fire under the pot.
- Add dashi (soup stock). For zousui, I recommend Weipa (ウェイ・パァー). You can find it in the Chinese (中華) section of your local grocery store. The package looks like the picture below. A container of this will supply you for a year’s worth of zousui or more. And it’s delicious. One big spoon should be enough for this amount of rice. Add to taste.
- For nutrition, add some spinach leaves.
- Beat an egg and ease it into the soup.
Zousui takes less than 5 minutes to make. If you are prone to leaving rice in the rice cooker like I am, it can save you from wasting a ton of rice. There’s no wrong way to make zousui. Experiment with different vegetables and I think you’ll find they all go well with zousui. Enjoy!
Do you have any rice-saving tips? I’d love to hear about them. Leave a comment.
- Other uses for old rice: fried rice and rice pudding
- Rice Pancakes For Breakfast
- Zousui Revisited
- A Short Guide To Faster Miso Soup
- Newly Harvested Rice – Shinmai
Share: Stumble This | Zoom This | JapanSoc This
Topics: Japanese Food | 23 Comments »Trackback