Sunday, December 11, 2011

Comfort Food, Part Two

I've got a chest cold I've been fighting for a week, so what makes me feel better is SOUP. Yesterday, I picked up some ramen, drank ALL the soup and only a few of the noodles. My ramen of choice is the wafu from Yamagen, a tiny hole in the wall on King St. across from Stadium Park. Yes, across from where all the homeless are camped on the sidewalk.

The other things we eat are the yakitori don and tonkatsu. Actually I am the one who eats those. The DH ALWAYS eats the nabeyaki udon and maybe a side order of tonkatsu or yakitori or tempura.

I could make miso soup tonight - comforting but boring. I'm thinking of cooking those garnet yams and making this soup. It's warming and soulfully spicy.

But I also have baby potatoes and beets that are talking to me. What to do?

In the meantime, the jook/congee that I made has other iterations. We were given okai as children - a simple rice gruel made by cooking rice with lots of water. This was simply served with umeboshi - a pickled plum. Perfect for digestive systems ravaged by flu or other stomach upsets.

Other similar Japanese rice gruel dishes are okayu - which may be the same as okai, or may have broth and be served with green onions. Zosui is another type of rice gruel, usually made with leftover ramen or udon broth. Chagayu - a version where rice is cooked with tea - may be either firm or softer and soupy. I have forgotten what it's called here in Hawaii by those who grew up eating this.

What do YOU eat when you're under the weather?

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