The weather is getting warmer and we are getting the last bits of snow here in Sendai. In the southern part of Japan, flower have already blossom and people already enjoying picnics out door. To welcome this shift, let us make Nanakusa, meaning the seven herbs rice porridge. I think this will be a good debut to contribute to the Novice Gardener “Friday Fiesta” party. According to, these herb consist one each of water dropwort (seri/せり), shepherd’s purse (nazuna/なずな), cudweed  (gogyō/ごぎょう), chickweed (hakobera/はこべら), nipplewort (hotokenoza/ほとけのざ), turnip (suzuna/すずな), and radish (suzushiro/すずしろ). Chop them into little pieces before we start to cook.


The trick to keep the color still green and not overcooked is by adding the herbs when they porridge is almost cooked. Traditionally, they will cook it with the ceramic pan. Toddlers will love them and you can add other additional like fresh tiny anchovies on top.


1 water dropwort, chopped
1 shepherd’s purse, chopped
1 cudweed, chopped
1 chickweed, chopped
1 nipplewort, chopped
1 turnip, chopped
1 radish, chopped
1/2 cup Japanese rice grains, washed
1 lt water
1-2 tsp salt

How to prepare:
-boil the rice grains and water until the porridge becomes thick (about 20 minutes)
-stir with a wooden spoon occasionally
-add all the chopped 7 herbs
-stir with a wooden spoon occasionally
-add salt to taste

9 thoughts on “Nanakusa

  1. Yeay, bubur, sepertinya menunya gak jauh beda yang disukai, cuma beda bahan aja :). Btw, mba di Sendai yang selatan yah ternyata, aku kemarin googling, kirain yang di utara. Ah, Sudah mau cherry blossom aja, time flies really fast, hampir setahun yang lalu berarti aku berkunjung. Oh yeah, tanggal jalan-jalan aku udah ada. udah booked flight tg; 29 Oktober 2014-7 Nov 2014, semoga bisa bertemu dan temen jalan aku maungeluarin duit lebih untuk ke daerah Selatan, nampak sangat jauh bahkan dari Osaka, last destinasi kami :).

  2. This is right up my alley, cooking with all those herbs and weeds. Some of them are considered weeds over here, but edible. At least I have no problem eating them. Excellent recipe, Miyuki! Thanks for joining the fiesta. Didn’t know you’re trilingual; pretty awesome! 🙂

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