Tori Zosui

With nearly 90 degree weather the past 2 days in Raleigh, it’s hard to believe that just a couple of days ago it was rainy and dreary – a day worthy of the Japanese bowl of comfort food, Tori zosui.  This rice and chicken “porridge” dish was recommended by my friend Sandra, who ate the dish regularly at Waraji Restaurant when she lived in Raleigh.

The recipe was not in any of my Japanese cookbooks, so I looked at a number of online recipes and settled on one that looked very simple. There are a variety of ways of making this dish, and Waraji’s is described as including egg, so I’m pretty sure it’s different than my final product this time around – have to get over there and try the real deal sometime. The recipe I used is from La Fuji Mama, an eclectic food blog that I’ll be back to browse again!

I followed a suggestion of the blog text and cooked my chicken thigh meat in dashi stock rather than using chicken broth. Because of that, the broth wasn’t as flavorful, so I did end up adding a bit more chicken bouillion, a dash of soy sauce, and a dash of lemon juice. My mom got me in the habit of adding lemon juice to chicken soup many years ago, it’s a nice way to brighten up the flavor, especially recommended with canned chicken noodle soups.

The leftover porridge was much thicker the next day after the rice soaked up even more of the liquid. I think it really is supposed to be more the consistency of an oatmeal or polenta rather than a soup.  This recipe is a great way to use leftover cooked rice and chicken, and I bet it would be really good with rotisserie chicken meat as well.  Oh – and watch out if you’re eating it right away after cooking, it WILL burn your tongue if you’re not careful!

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