I feel really glad that I was born and raised in Japan when I eat Ochazuke. Ochazuke is one of the most simple traditional Japanese dishes, which Japanese people eat even when they have only a little appetite because it is so easy to make and easy to digest.
What is Ochazuke?
Ochazuke is a traditional Japanese rice dish that Japanese people enjoy usually at the end of the meal if you have still have rice left over in the rice bowl; you simply just pour hot tea over the rice. You can eat it plain or top the rice with umeboshi, salmon, or any fish or seafood and then add some more flavour with sesame seeds, shiso, and sea weeds.
3 Cherms of Ochazuke
- Easy and quick one bowl dish. No real cooking involved.
- Easy to digest when you have little appetite or are hungover
- Nourishing and filling
Pour Tea or Dashi
Tea : I prefer tea. If you chose to use tea, the tea needs to be very hot. Aromatic tea such as Hojicha suits grilled meat/fish toppings and toppings which have rich flavour. If you want to make a light and refreshing Ochazuke, use green tea.
My suggestions are grilled salmon and seaweed flakes; salmon flakes and sesame seeds; grilled cod roe (tarako) and shiso leaves; ikura(salmon roe) and shiso leaves; and umeboshi and pickled veggies. Be creative and adventurous and find your favourite Ochazuke toppings.
Yakumi seasoning, flavour and spice
Add a little bit of grated wasabi, grated ginger, sesame seeds, shiso leaves, myoga ginger, shichimi togarashi (7 spices chili), sansho Japanese pepper, or yuzu peel to take your Ochazuke to the next level.
Tips to make delicious Ochazuke
- Use quality Japanese rice and cook it properly (not soggy or dry rice). I usually buy a 5kg bag of Japanese rice (Koshihikari) from local Japanese grocery stores. Usually any Japanese rice is a little expensive but it’s way more delicious than short grain rice from supermarkets.
- Pour hot tea, because we don’t want to make soggy Ochazuke.
- Cut the toppings finely for easy eating.
- 1 ½ cups cooked rice
- 1/2 tbsp Umeboshi
- 5 baby shiso leaves
- 1 tsp fine rice crackers bubu arare *1
- ½ tbsp seaweed flake
- 1 cup hot Hojicha *2
Serve cooked rice into a rice bowl.
Top with umeboshi, shiso leaves, and rice crackers.
Pour hot hojicha over the toppings and rice.
Sprinkle seaweed flakes.
*1 If you can not access this tiny rice cracker, crush rice crackers and sprinkle.
*2 If you rather want to have Ochazuke with dashi, check dashi post and add ½ tsp soy sauce and pinch of salt to dashi. Dashi needs to be very hot too.