Okayu may simply consist of rice and water, although salt is often added for seasoning. Beaten eggs could be beaten into it to thicken it into gruel. Toppings may be added to enhance flavour; negi (a type of green onion), salmon, roe, ginger, and umeboshi (pickled ume fruit) are among the most common. Similarly, miso or chicken stock may be used to flavor the broth.

Historic Okayu [OOC]

In Japan, okayu is popularly known as a food served to the ill, occupying a similar cultural status to that of chicken noodle soup in America. Because it is soft and easily digestible, okayu is the first solid food served to Japanese infants; it is used to transition them from liquids to the thicker rice dishes which constitute much of the Japanese diet. It is also commonly eaten by the elderly for the same reasons.

A type of okayu called nanakusa-gayu ("Seven Herb Porridge") is traditionally eaten on January 7th, as a way of using special herbs that protect against evils, and to invite good luck and longevity in the new year. Moreover, as a simple, light dish, nanakusagayu serves as a break from the many heavy dishes eaten over the Japanese New Year.


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