Yoko’s “teach a man to fish” Organic Genmai Wisdom.

Genmai Guru

Genmai Guru

I thought that it was important for the integrity of this blog to have porridge in japan. And that by not finding it I would have failed this blog somehow. Should I hari-kari – commit honourable suicide as some people in japan  (and the rest of the world) still do when they fail goals set before them. “There is a lot of power in deciding to stop before you reach your goal,” said Yoko, a truly modern day Japanese sage, who has recently returned from 20years abroad.

We were talking philosophy under an enormous waning moon as we strolled Tokyos anchient samurai way.

“A Japanese mountaineer who i am becoming friends with told us a story about summitting,” Yoko began.

“Exhausted, on the verge of summitting, he pulls out a traditional perfumed balm from Kyoto, and the smell reminds him of his mother, aunts , wife, and he feels these women tell him, you have done enough, why don’t you rest? It’s okay to rest. He stops there, sets up camp and let their female energy comfort him. Then in the morning rested he proceeds with  joy and peace , energy and presence,  to the summit or not. for these things are ultimately a far better goal.
This story resonated. In porridge terms, if I chased porridge too dogmatically I would surely have missed the wonderful duck soba prepared in magnetically charged water that Yoko had introduced me to. I may have missed the Miso and butter ramen that we had later that night in a poky family noodle bar, which yoko hadnt tasted since her childhood; the late night okanmiyaki in Shinjuku, the takoyaki and hoppie vodka beer in takonobaba  – all for being blinkered by too narrow a focus.

The following morning Yoko and i were out again cycling along the train tracks down narrow lanes along the takanobaba canal. Just casually I mentioned for Yoko to keep her eyes open for a congee store.

“Bruce,” Yoko said as we negotiated the  tide of salary men and women heading off to the office. You will not find porridge eaily here in Tokyo outside of the home or hospital. It is not breakfast food like China. This is a food for the sick, in the minds of Japanese people. Something to eat when you cannot chew. Yes. You might find a special crab congee on the menu at the Park Hyatt, but that is because it is internationally oriented menu. I cook brown rice blended porridge for my father, because he cant chew it very easily.  But  this is also unusal. Very few people in Japan eat brown rice now. I have converted my parents to brown rice but it was hard work. My father is a very intellect thinking person. His attitude was: it doesnt taste like white rice, so its not rice; he  didnt like it; didn’t want it. And it reminded him of the hard times during the war when economy meant that rice wasnt polished. But the movement I am part of links all these modern dieases in japan with the change from brown rice to white rice.”

Yoko had a bunch of brown rice anecdotes;:

Kids now have allergies to every thing,and macrobiotic doctors believe it is in part because  people are no longer eating whole foods. White rice converts to sugar then fat , inefficiently converting to energy with out the catalising action of the vitaimins and minerals in the germ of the rice.
Samurais coming to Tokyo for periods of service to their white rice eating Edo lords would become sick, recovering their health when they returned to the brown rice eating countryside.
A diabetic woman who changed from white to brown was diabetic no longer. Like Jamie Oliver did in England, she is working to influenece  schools into changeing the rice  to whole grain.”

This was a goldmine of information. I hadnt just found porridge. Or a recipe. I had been given a philosophy that would flavour future porridges;  educated to a process  far more important than my narrow  single bowl of  Tokyo porridge focus. A “teach a man to fish”  porridge pearl of wisdom.

Yokos Porridge recipe.

organic brown rice

soak over night, then cook with lots of water.

put it in blender—the base of rice porridge!

salt to season, then black and white grated sesame seed

sprinkle spring onion, pickle, umeboshi…

For different version, cook brown rice, add water and cook with whatever vegetable you want.

Blend with blender.

season with salt. and sesame!!!

Chew well for maximum nutrition.


One Response

  1. Yokos brown rice ‘resonates’ alot it is white rice that doesn’t taste like rice. My favorite soba noodle recipe is ; is soba noodles, with miso soup and topped with a little homous ( yes a spoon of homous), and sunflower seeds that have been fried in a little tamari ( more like just turned until they are coated), some grated carrot on top and some nori ( seaweed) that has been set alight so it is crispy also crumbled ontop…this is delcious in the extreme and easy and quick to make

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