Today — January 7 — is jinjitsu 人日, one of the five sekku 節句 — days on the traditional Japanese calendar where one observes special customs of the season. Today is the day to make a rice porridge flavored with nanakusa, 七草 （seven spring herbs).
Instead of cooking up the usual porridge, I decided to tweak the custom and put the seven herbs in my daily vegetable juice instead. I raided the nanakusa basket I wrote about in a previous post, and added komatsuna greens, parsley, celery top, yellow bell pepper, a cherry tomato, and the juice of one fresh lemon. I finished it off with a teaspoon of first-press natane abura 菜種油 (rapeseed oil), which I got on my recent trip to Awajishima. This oil is particularly high in vitamin E, which aids absorption of the nutrients in the veggies. I also added a pinch of moshio 藻塩, a gourmet salt made from seaweed. It’s also from Awajishima. If you’re interested in trying it, you can buy it on Amazon Japan by clicking here. It’s a great salt.
Here’s the finished product! Yum! And spicy! À santé! To health!