In Japan, the Nanakusagayu is a regular meal that shall be eaten in the morning of January 7.
Originally, it was in Heian period that many Chinese customs and manners such as eating Nanakusagayu were introduced into Japan, and integrated with Japanese culture.
It is said that the seventh day is commonly referred as the "day of man" on which the people shall cherish their life, so just due to such traditional festival called "day of man", the custom of eating Nanakusagayu on January 7 is spread widely and rooted in the people.
Even today, in order to smooth the full stomach which contains too much delicious dishes in the New Year's Holiday and pray for a year without any disease, Japanese still has the habit of eating Nanakusagayu.
■What does Nanakusa mean?
The materials of Nanakusa have their own meaning, and they are really good for your overall health.
Cress: Means competition for victory. Clearing heat, stomachic
Shepherd's Purse: Means cleaning dirty by touch. Diuretic, smooth digestive upsets and eliminate puffiness
Cudweed: Means Buddhakaya. Relieving expectoration and sore throat
Chickweed: Means response to spread. Better for the treatment of gastritis
Lamium amplexicaule: Means the gods sit tight. Stomachic, promoting appetite and cures for toothache.
Turnip: Means the bell for calling gods. Coordinating intestines and stomach, promote digestion.
Radish: Means Pure and innocent. Prevention from cold, body care.
■Various customs are different from one region to another.
Even in Japan, the Nanakusagayu have different ways to eat and different name in different regions
■How to make Nanakusagayu
1、Have the Nanakusa cleaned
2、Add a small amount of salt in the boiling water, blanching the Nanakusa very briefly, then cools with cold water
3、Drained, and cut the Nanakusa into 1cm subparagraph
4、If using turnip or radish roots, please cut them into thin round slices
5、Quickly rinse the rice (cooked) to remove its sticky
6、Add soup in the pot, pour in the rice after boiling
7、Boiling with medium heat, stirring in the process
8、When it becomes porridge state, put into the pre-prepared Nanakusa, and sprinkle salt seasoning
The Nanakusagayu will be finished after boiling!
It is said that the people in foreign countries also use the Nanakusa-like vegetables such as carrot greens, basil or other substitute vegetables in the same family to make Nanakusagayu.
If you are just in Japan in this season, you guys gotta try the Nanakusagayu.
Eating Nanakusagayu, having a healthy year !