This healthful rice porridge is eaten on January 7th to bring health and ward off evil in the New Year.
January 7th is known as "Human Being Day" or 人日の節句 (Jinjitsu-no Sekku) in Japan. It is sometimes also called “the Feast of the Seven Herbs" or 七草の節句 (Nanakusa no sekku).
As with many traditions that began in Japan during the Heian period (794 to 1185), this custom came from China, where the 7th day of the lunar calendar is celebrated as the day of human creation.
The tradition of 七草粥 is also continued to recover from the New Year's holiday feasting. Each of the ingredients are full of vitamins and minerals, and this gentle soup helps greatly with digestion and recovery.
What is the Seven Greens/Herbs Porridge? 七草粥とは？
- Water Dropwort/Seri (せり)
- Shepherd’s Purse/Nazuna (なずな)
- Cudweed/Gogyo (ごぎょう)
- Chickweed/Hakobera (はこべら)
- Nipplewort/Hotokenoza (ほとけのざ)
- Turnip/Suzuna/Kabu (すずな/かぶ)
- Daikon radish/Suzushiro (大根)
While these greens were commonly wild-harvested in Japan, they are now sold in packs this time of year.
If you can't find some of these wild greens near you, a rice porridge of suzuna/kabu (turnip) and daikon greens can be a perfect, simple version of this recovery meal.
Sweet Kabu has wonderfully tender greens, and can be grown in pots in a sunny place.