Tea has been essential to many cultures around the world.
You can be in Nepal having Chiyya (Chai tea) for breakfast…
You can be in London having a cuppa at three in the afternoon…
OR you can be in Japan having a breakfast with Japanese tea and rice.
And I didn’t mean separately! Ochazuke is a spectacular combination of those two ingredients put together.
Ochazuke means “Submerging into tea”. (The Japanese Kanji Ocha=tea and zuke =submerging)
Ochazuke is a traditional Japanese dish. It has been a popular snack and a great meal to save the day for many Japanese parents when they didn’t hear the alarm clock go off in the morning. Of course, not only that, but it can also be a great meal to have on the porch while watching the colorful spring flowers bloom or even when you catch a cold and you don’t have much of an appetite. Ochazuke is almost equivalent to the good old “Mac and Cheese” in the States. Just like Macaroni and Cheese, it is neither time consuming nor expensive and it is just DELICIOUS! But Ochazuke is better than Macaroni and Cheese because it is healthier and can also make you relax, like sipping a cup of tea.
Ochazuke is made by pouring Genmaicha or Sencha on a bowl of rice. You can always add something on the top to give it a personal twist, like grilled salmon or some traditional Japanese pickles. By adding some additional toppings, it gives a variety of salty flavors that enlightens your taste buds. Just imagining this scene in slow motion… makes me hungry!
Sugimoto America offers some of the best teas for making a sophisticated bowl of Ochazuke. Using Genmaicha or Sencha can make this common dish very special because of the richly flavored and high quality tea itself. Using Genmaicha, you can taste the intense roasted fragrance and the full bursting flavor of the tea in the beginning, then it leaves the slightest trace of a smooth nutty flavor as evidence in your mouth.
There are many ways to make Ochazuke. At it’s simplest, all you have to do is make Japanese style short grain rice and add as much fresh brewed tea as you’d like. It also goes well to add a little salt, some chopped up umeboshi, some Japanese dashi stock, and sprinkle some crushed seaweed and sesame seeds on top. Many people also like to add mushrooms, chopped green onions, and runny scrambled eggs! If you come up with any ideas or new recipes, please share with us!
If you’d like to pick up some Sencha or Genmaicha to try this at home, you can grab them from our online store.
Credit (Store: Teasome, Photographer: Mikko, Sugimoto America)