Every week we will sit down to discuss what will we be sharing and want to challenge to make. And my sister, Angela has been so annoyed and insisted on sharing one of her favorite dish – Ochazuke at home. Well, I can’t deny that it’s my favorite as well. This is the simplest recipes I have ever made and it’s delicious.
Ochazuke (お茶漬け) is a simple rice dish. A combination of green tea (Ocha), steamed rice, and an assortment of savory ingredients (zuke means “submerged”). Both of us love having it as a quick meal or a dish at the end of the meal to fill up yourself.
Although it’s a Japanese dish, Ochazuke is known as comfort food in ours home. It is typically enjoyed as a filler snack, any time of the day. Which is also loved as a midnight snack, or as a hangover remedy. It is traditionally enjoyed as a dish at the end of a Japanese meal, either to finish up a few last bites of rice. Or when your stomach feels like it needs just a bit more to feel full. Don’t be deceived, however, because Ochazuke can also be eaten as a meal in itself for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Home-cooked Ochazuke is typically made from leftover rice (either short-grain white rice or brown rice). Leftover ingredients such as cooked fish, pickles, and a variety of salted dishes, and tea. Prepackaged dried Ochazuke seasonings are widely sold in both Japanese and Asian grocery stores. These seasoning packets are merely added to cooked rice and either hot water or tea is poured over it to make instant Ochazuke.
You don’t have to spend lots of time preparing it, especially making Ochazuke is a great way to use up leftover rice and other foods from your fridge! For this time we decided to do 2 kinds of Ochazuke, the Salmon Ochazuke, and Salty Plum Ochasuke. Let’s start with the basic ingredients for this recipe the leftover rice and tea.
Type of tea we used in Ochazuke:
Various kinds of green tea such as Genmaicha, Sencha, Hojicha etc) are commonly used for Ochazuke and it’s easy to prepare. However, when you order Ochazuke in Japanese restaurants, the Ochazuke recipe is typically made with good dashi broth and that’s my personal favorite.
The Ochazuke served with green tea tends to be blander and relies on salty toppings to add some flavors. But with good dashi, your Ochazuke can be very flavorful even with just a few simple toppings. However, for a fast meal, we decided to use Green Tea.
Ingredients for Green Tea |
- 2 tsp Japanese green tea leaves (I used Genmaicha, but Sencha, Hojicha, Mugicha works as well)
- 1 cup hot water (see the tea package for appropriate temperature for your tea leaves)
- ½ tsp soy sauce (we used kikkoman soy sauce, as it have a sweet base compare to the other we have before)
Put tea leaves in the pot. Bring the water to the appropriate temperature for your tea and pour into the pot. Set aside for 1-2 minute (follow the directions on your tea bag).
Bake the salted salmon fillet at 400F degree for 25 minutes. If you’re using regular salmon, season the salmon with salt and set aside for 10 minutes before baking. When it’s cooked, remove the skin and bones and break up the salmon flesh into flakes. Set aside.
Now serve the cooked rice in the serving bowl. Place the shredded salmon and sprinkle the rice cracker, nori, and sesame seeds on top. Pour the tea until it covers half of the rice and top with spring onion and wasabi. Add soy sauce if you like.
We also did a Salty Plum Ochazuke, simply replace the salmon with the plum. This particular version contains umeboshi, which are strikingly salty and sour dried plums. The umeboshi, the mellow flavor of the dashi, the umami from the sesame and the heat from the wasabi make for a thoroughly unique taste that you will not soon forget. Not a fan of Ume, however this version of eating really lighten up my taste bud.
I definitely love this series of photographs and styling that Angela captured. It’s something that we never did before but she fully makes use of our beautiful black marble table top in our kitchen.