August 11, 2011
The other morning I woke up with the worst hangover I’ve had in two years. I remember drinking shochu the night before like I was drinking water. I clearly ended up mixing up the two halfway through the night because they both looked the same, yet the shochu tasted better. The upside is that I am only a little drowsy and I don’t have a pounding headache like a red wine hangover. My “clear” mind allowed me to make one of my two favorite hangover foods–zousui (the other one being soba).
Zousui is Japanese porridge. Mothers make it for their sick children and hungover adults make it for themselves. I fall into the latter category.
Making zousui is a simple affair especially if you have some cooked rice sitting in the fridge. It requires only a handful of ingredients that you can improvise with and you can even throw in random vegetables that are rolling around at the bottom of your produce fridge drawer.
My hangover is still lingering as I write this, but after eating two full bowls of zousui, I feel like I am on the mend.
ZOUSUI aka HANGOVER PORRIDGE
2 stalks of green onions, sliced into thin rounds
A handful of shiitake or eringi mushrooms chopped thin (you can pretty much use any kine of mushroom)
1-2 eggs cracked into a bowl and lightly beaten
1/4 cup dried wakame
3 cups dashi
3 cups cooked rice
2 tbsp soy sauce
1. In a medium to large pot, heat dashi on high.
2. Chop ingredients.
3. Once the dashi has come to a rolling boil, throw in half of the chopped green onions, mushrooms and other veggies if you have them (i.e. chopped carrots or asparagus can work). Add the dried wakame into the pot as well. If there doesn’t seem to be enough liquid, you can add a dash of water or dashi.
4. After the veggies are cooked and the wakame has expanded, add the rice and stir well. Close the lid and cook on medium or medium-low for 10 minutes. Be careful that the rice doesn’t burn (a Le Crueset pot is ideal for this as it tends not to burn the rice). If it’s on the cusp of burning, add more water or dashi or turn down the heat.
5. Once the rice is well saturated and pudding like in consistency add the soy sauce and stir. Turn the heat off.
6. Drape the egg over the porridge and close the lid. Leave for 5 minutes. The egg should cook from the residual heat.
7. Open the lid after five minutes and it should look like this:
Give it another good stir. It’s ready!
8. Garnish with the green onions you set aside earlier.
Now, have a carafe full of water at your table at all times.