Ochazuke is a simple one-bowl dish featuring steamed rice with an assortment of savoury toppings. Brewed green tea (ocha) is poured over the ingredients to partially submerge them (zuke).
This dish is simple to prepare, nourishing and the ultimate comfort food for when your body needs a little nurturing.
Because ochazuke is so gentle on the digestive system, it is a wonderful choice to soothe an upset stomach or heartburn as well as being delicious to eat at any time of the day.
Ochazuke – The Elements of Your Dish
1. Start with Rice
Every bowl of ochazuke starts with cooked rice. Short-grain Japanese white rice is standard, but brown rice can be used a healthy alternative.
2. Add Toppings
Your ochazuke toppings can be tailored to your particular tastes and will generally include:
Protein — we enjoy fresh salmon – cooked (hot or cooled) or raw. Alternatively you can prepare an egg omelette/ marinated tofu or perhaps use a meat simmered in soy sauce and mirin rice wine. Season your protein well.
Vegetables - Pickled vegetables such as cucumber or radish, followed by wakame seaweed or kizami nori (dried shredded seaweed). You can also add freshly sliced herbs such as flat leaf parsley, coriander, spring onions or chives and add some greens such as mizuna or microgreen leaf or wilted spinach. Bean sprouts are good for extra crunch.
Season your dish - with freshly grated ginger, wasabi horseradish, or white sesame seeds (toasted are lovely). You may also want to add some more crunch to your dish with roasted nuts or seeds. A dash of light soy sauce (1/2 teaspoon) added to your completed dish on serving is also a useful seasoning.
3. Pour Hot Green Tea over Your Rice
Hot tea is the final component of ochazuke. We recommend either our Japanese Sencha or the Genmaicha (green tea with roasted brown rice).
Prepare the tea as the final step in preparation of your dish. For a single bowl serve we recommend:
- 1 tsp Japanese green tea leaves (Sencha or Genmaicha) per person
- 1 cup hot water (just below boiling)
- Steep for 3 minutes. As it is steeping start assembling your dish.
Assemble your dish:
(a) Place the cooked rice in the serving bowl
(b) Add your protein on top of the rice
(c) Add your seasoning and vegetable elements
(d) Pour your brewed tea gently over and around your ingredients up to about half way. Add soy sauce if desired.
(e) Allow the hot liquid to soak up into the rice, and then enjoy!
A dish for all seasons:
You can use cold rice and cold tea in the summertime to enjoy a cool and refreshing version of Ochazuke
For a beautifully plated dish we recommend using a smaller sized bowl or cup to mound the rice in your serving bowl.
Pouring your brewed tea around the edge of the bowl will avoid disturbing your perfectly piled ingredients.