Zosui (Rice Soup)
Zosui literally means 'assorted ingredients cooked together'. But the name is also said to originate from the idea of bulking up cooked rice by adding water to it. In Japanese, the 'zo' can also mean 'to add' or 'increase in volume', while the 'sui' can also mean 'water'. These soups were economical dishes when food was scarce.
Various ingredients can be added aside from vegetables and mushrooms, such as seafood (e.g. salmon, scallops) or chicken, which impart a good flavour to the liquid. This dish is easily and quickly prepared from cold rice and other leftover ingredients. Rice soup with mushrooms or made with different vegetables is also ideal if you are watching your weight.
Zosui is also often prepared after people have eaten a hotpot dish (which is popular in the winter months). A rice soup can be made by adding cooked rice to the remaining liquid in the pot. For example, adding cooked rice to any leftovers for our Let's Cook Japanese recipe for tori-tsukune nabe (hotpot with chicken meatballs) will make a delicious rice soup.