How to make Okayu (Japanese rice porridge)

Do you want to make rice porridge for your baby as her first “solid” food at 6 months, but wondering how to make it?

Here is the method that is super popular among Japanese families, as you can make the rice for yourself and your baby at the same time!

AND you can prepare it in advance and set the timer on your rice cooker, which is extremely helpful when you’re trying to juggle everything.

See the video for the cooking instructions! 🙂

What you need:

  • Rice cooker
  • 1.5 cups rice (this is enough for 2 adults, 1 child and 1 baby)
  • Small bowl (for making the okayu for your baby)
  • Tablespoon


  • Wash rice (I usually wash 3 times in running water), drain out most of the water
  • Place 1 tbsp of the rice into the small bowl, and add water (the amount of water you add depends on the age of your baby)
    • Add 10 x tbsp water for 6 mth old babies
    • Gradually add less water as your baby grows older. For my daughter who is currently 1.5 years, I add up to 5 tbsp water so it is easy to eat (she can also eat normal adults rice, but sometimes I like to give her softer rice porridge)
  • Add 1.5 cups water to the remaining adults rice, make well in center
  • Place bowl containing your baby’s rice into the center of the adults rice
  • Cook in the rice cooker on normal setting
  • When the rice cooker has finished, be careful taking out your baby’s bowl as it is very hot! Wait for it to cool or place into a separate bowl for serving.

In winter I actually prepare the rice in the morning before I go to work and set the timer on the rice cooker for 6pm, so it is ready when I bring my children home from nursery school. (Note: in summer it is really hot and humid in Tokyo, so it is best to make it fresh to avoid any mould growing in the rice.)


All you need to make Japanese rice porridge for you and your baby in your rice cooker!

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It may look like a small amount, but this is actually enough for a few servings of rice porridge for your baby, especially if your baby is 6 months old.

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When you add water to the adults rice, add the normal amount you would add for the amount of rice. You have only taken out 1 tbsp for your baby, which doesn’t affect the measurements much. So you don’t need to worry about adjusting the amount of water you add.

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Make sure there is no rice underneath the small bowl, otherwise it will be stuck to the bottom of the bowl when the rice cooker has finished.

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Be careful when you take out your baby’s bowl as it is super hot! Also be careful if you are holding your baby while cooking – the steam from the rice cooker is very dangerous, especially when you open the lid after cooking.

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Lovely smooth Japanese rice porridge! If your baby is 6 months old, make sure you blend your 10 x rice porridge with a blender or grind in a bowl to a smooth paste.

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Yum! If your baby grows up eating rice every day as Japanese kids do, they learn to appreciate the taste of rice and love it. Even on its own. This is great as an alternative to toast or bread as a quick snack.

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