Zosui is a simple soy sauce-flavored rice soup often prepared for those feeling under the weather. Made with just a few ingredients, it is a nourishing, hydrating, and easily digestible soup that’s perfect for cold days.
Compared to other Japanese rice porridges such as okayu or ojiya, zosui is characterized by its shorter cooking time that leaves the individual rice grains in tact. Zosui looks like rice floating in clear broth, while other porridges become one homogenous mixture.
To keep our zosui vegan, we use vegan dashi. We recommend this vegan dashi, which is made from a combination of umami-rich ingredients including konbu (dried kelp), shiitake mushrooms, beet sugar, and salt. When dissolved in water, these ingredients create a full-flavored stock in just seconds!
We top our zosui with fried sendai-fu, otherwise known as wheat gluten. Wheat gluten is made from what remains after the starch has been removed from wheat, which is then shaped into a baguette-like shape, sliced into pieces, and lightly fried. With little taste of its own, sendai-fu absorbs the flavors of the sauces and seasonings it is paired with.
To make sendai-fu zosui, simply combine dashi stock and soy sauce together in a pot or nabe and heat for a few minutes. Then, add in your cold cooked rice and sendai-fu and boil until the rice becomes soft and the sendai-fu rehydrates. If you’d like to add in extra ingredients such as small pieces of mushroom, vegetable, or protein, toss them in the soup during this step. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste and serve steaming hot.
The next time you feel a cold coming on, try warding it off with a warm bowl of sendai-fu zosui!
- 4-5 pieces fu (wheat gluten)
- 320ml dashi (1 tsp vegan dashi mixed in 320ml of water)
- 4 tsp soy sauce
- 240g cold, cooked rice
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- Warm up the dashi soup and soy sauce in a pot or nabe on medium heat.
- Add the cold rice, fu and a pinch of salt. Cook until the rice becomes soft.
- Serve in two bowls with a pinch of black pepper.
Introduction courtesy of Britney Budiman
Britney Budiman (@booritney) is a writer, minimalist, aspiring effective altruist, and runner-in-progress with a penchant for saying “yes.” Previously, she has worked in Cambodia at a traditional arts NGO, in Brazil as a social sciences researcher, and in San Francisco at a housing start-up. She currently lives in the countryside of Kagoshima, Japan, where she teaches English. Her favorite thing in the world is good conversation.