There was some leftover rice from last night, so I made Ojiya for breakfast. This porridgy rice dish is often served at the end of Nabe but I made it in the place of my breakfast miso soup. I always have a good appetite in the morning. Plus there is the sculptor to feed. Sakai always needs something solid to get his engine going. At the start of each week, he usually buys two fresh bagels, one for him and one for me, and another bag of day old bagels to last him for a week; and with it, he has rice, pancakes, soup, porridge, fruit, whatever I put on the table. Making art is physical.
Ojiya resembles a risotto in its consistency but unlike the Italian counterpart, there is no need to stir. Ojiya likes to be left alone in the pot to cook. At the workshop, we used the rich chicken broth that was left over in the Chanko nabe to season the Ojiya. For additional flavor, we added eggs and yuzu, and some leftover pork from the nabe. Chopped scallions would work nicely too. My morning Ojiya came out a little bit on the soupy side. If you go to Rosanjin nabe, you will see a much thicker version.
1/4 Yuzu rind, sliced thinly (if you can't find yuzu, try sudachi, lemon or lime)
1/2 scallions, sliced thinly (optional)
Serving suggestions: Pickles go nicely with Ojiya.
How to make Ojiya:
If you are making Ojiya as a "Shime" or finish for the nabe, make sure to clear any leftover food so all you are left is the rich broth. Taste the broth. If it tastes bland, add 1/2 teaspoon of soysauce or salt. You may need a little more if you like a stronger flavor.
Close the pot and cook the rice in the seasoned broth over medium heat until the rice absorbs most of the broth and taken on the consistency of a thin porridge. This will take about 5 minutes.
Break an egg or two in a bowl and mix lightly. Pour the egg into the pot, using a slow circular clockwise motion, so it gets evenly distributed. Close the pot and turn off the heat. Let the rice and eggs cook in the remaining heat for a couple of minutes. The porridge will turn thicker, as it absorbs the broth.
Now open the pot, sprinkle some yuzu rind and serve in individual rice bowls.
Pickles go nicely with the rice.
Ojiya ready to be served. Notice sprinkles of Yuzu rind.