Zousui translates as a hodgepodge or medley soup. It is typically prepared after a nabe, a Japanese hotpot, which is simmered throughout the meal and continuously topped up with meat or fish and vegetables and cooked like a fondue at the table with everyone helping themselves. At the end of the evening a tasty stock remains to which you mix in rice, crack an egg on top, cover and cook until the egg has set.
In our house though, it also refers to a one-pot dish we often make for breakfast (or lunch) using left over miso soup and rice. It is incredibly quick and simple, and is very warming on a chilly winter morning.
My children and I prefer the consistency of a creamy risotto, whereas my husband likes his more soupy so adjust the liquid to rice ratio as you like. If you don’t have enough soup add some water and mix in some more miso or shoyu. I like to finely slice the konbu originally used to make the dashi for the miso soup and add that in, too. Japanese often discard it but it is full of magnesium so I also eat it or make tsukudani (konbu relish) from it.
- Cooked miso soup (or you could use a sachet of instant miso if you don’t have leftovers to hand)
- Cooked rice, hot or cold, enough to serve the number of people eating
- 1-2 Eggs (obviously use more for large quantities!)
- Cubes of tofu
- Handful of green leaves (spinach, mizuna, kale etc)
- Any cooked vegetables, pulse or grain
- Chopped spring onion
- Sesame seeds
- Slivers of ginger
- Heat the miso soup in a pan
- Mix in the rice, if cold heat till piping hot.
- Crack in 1-2 eggs. You can either swirl the egg around on top as above or mix in the eggs and cook until lightly set for a creamy zousui.
- Add the green leaves to wilt, if using.
Serve hot topped with spring onion and sesame and or ginger. I also like natto on mine! Pickles on the side is also good.