Do men experience the flu or common cold differently than women? It’s an age old debate and a common meme that has developed into its own illness designation, “man flu”, with thousands of articles referencing the inferiority of man when faced with a seasonal illness. Women really can do it all: laundry, kids, work, cleaning, cooking – even when ill…except for this woman.
In our household the gender roles are flipped in this particular scenario. When sick, my husband, Travis, can mow the lawn, prune the hedge, do the laundry, walk the dogs, and take care of general business. I, on the other hand, suffer from the “man flu”. I burrito myself in a blanket, turn out the lights and whimper.
Because Travis is still Superman when he is sick, it can be hard for me to remember to take a moment and take care of him. This week was such the case. He’s casually mentioned a general queasiness all week, to which I responded with spicy chorizo gnocchi, creamy alfredo, and various other foods that would make a sick stomach churn. After a week of turning down my magnificent creations (brag), I realized my buddy was probably a lot sicker than he was letting on and I needed to adjust my menu to aid is ailing belly.
Enter Rice Porridge. Influenced by comforting Chinese congee and aromatic Japanese okayu I set to make a rice porridge that both sick Travis and I could enjoy. I cooked up some Japanese short grain rice and mixed it with homemade chicken stock to fortify the porridge with all that cold-curing chicken goodness. I also included miso and gochuchang, I told myself it was for the restorative benefits of fermented food, but really it was so it would taste good. I had some ajitsuke tamago (those wonderful marinated ramen eggs) in the fridge so I sliced those up for garnish along with a chiffonade of nori, sesame seeds and chives from the garden.
You can garnish yours any way you like, hell you could probably even slap a slice of American cheese on there and I wouldn’t be mad (ok, maybe a little mad). But for real, you can put anything you want in your porridge, or just eat it plain with only chicken stock and rice. It’s warm and comforting and almost as good as burrito-ing yourself in your room with the lights off. Oh and as for Travis, he’s feeling much better now.
- 6 c Homemade Chicken Stock
- 2-3 c Short Grain Rice, Cooked (can be leftover, can also be freshly cooked)
- 1 tsp Miso (you can add another tsp if you like)
- 1 tsp Gochujang (more will make it spicier and a little tangier, if that sounds good to you add a little more)
- Soy Sauce and Kosher Salt, to taste
- Your Choice of Garnish (I like a sprinkle of sesame seeds, nori and chives)
- Heat stock to a simmer and add miso, gochujang and cooked rice. If using leftover rice, continue heating the mixture to your preferred soup temperature.
- Ladle into your favorite sick day soup bowl or mug and garnish with anything that will make you feel better
- Eat and then nap