Okayu vs Zosui : The Difference between the 2 Japanese Porridges

Steamed plain rice and Miso soup are the staple food of the Japanese, and with them we usually enjoy side dishes and salted foods like Umeboshi plums and Mentaiko roe at meals.

However, some Japanese like to pour Miso soup into a bowl of rice and eat them together.

Like this, when we eat Japanese-style hot-pot dishes called “Nabemono (鍋物)“, we sometimes boil its leftover soup broth with plain white rice and make a porridge for finishing off.

Actually, the finishing rice is a kind of “Zosui (雑炊)”.

The Difference between Zosui and Okayu Porridges

In addition to Zosui, Japanese home cooks sometimes make a porridge called “Okayu (お粥)”, so today for those who have never heard of these 2 representative Japanese porridges before, I will talk about the difference between them.

Zosui (雑炊)

Zosui porridge

Zosui is the generic name for the Japanese porridge made by boiling grains of rice and other foods, like meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables and mushrooms, with water and seasonings.

This Japanese porridge is seasoned mainly with soy sauce or Miso soybean paste during cooking. Hence, the rice boiled in Miso soup and the leftover soup of Nabemono is included in Zosui.

Zosui is also known as “Ojiya (おじや)” or “Konagaki (こながき)”.

Okayu (お粥)

Okayu porridge

Kayu, or O-kayu is a porridge that can be made of grains of various cereals, such as non-glutinous rice, wheat, millet, and buckwheat. Besides, beans and potatoes can also be its main ingredient.

Okayu is a simple porridge made by boiling grains in water. Since it is low in calories, this porridge is sometimes used as a diet food.

As with Zosui, Okayu is easy to digest. Hence in Japan, both Zosui and Okayu are often served for sick persons.

Okayu is known as one of “Shojin Ryori (精進料理)”, the vegan dishes eaten in the Japanese Buddhist temple.

(Reference pages : Wikipedia 雑炊, )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. I want to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures and trivia.

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