Lately I have been craving for something savory and healthy yet simple to make. No cream, no butter, and no deep frying. When I saw a package of green tea I bought, I remembered a dish I tried at a random restaurant in Tokyo, Japan. It was my first time having this very simple and humble dish, yet I could remember vividly how it tasted like. The dish is called Ochazuke which basically is a bowl of rice served with green tea and some toppings. The one that I had in Tokyo was served with salmon flakes, chopped green onion, and some Japanese pickles. The stronger flavors from the toppings were balanced out perfectly by the freshness of green tea. Simple yet fulfilling. Isn’t this called happiness?
So yeah, I decided to make Ochazuke on my own. Some recipes I found in the internet call for Sencha 【煎茶】green tea leaves. I used Ryokucha 【緑茶】 since I only have that one. Besides those two kinds, there are other types of Japanese green tea including Matcha 【抹茶】- the powdered green tea, which is usually not used for this dish. I have no idea how different they are from one another though. I’ll pay more attention to what kind of tea I drink next time :).
To make Ochazuke, you need:
-a bowl of rice
-freshly brewed greed tea (otherwise, it will turn brown due to oxidation). If no green tea is available, oolong tea or hot broth or even hot water will work too.
-any toppings you like. Some common toppings include salmon, shredded nori, furikake, pickles, rice cracker, wasabi, bonito flakes, etc.
Just put the rice in a bowl. Then put on some toppings and pour the tea over the rice. Serve immediately.
Mine tasted pretty blend actually, so adding some salt might help.
Oh, one last thing! When someone is asked by a Kyoto native if he/she would like to have ochazuke (called bubuzuke in Kyoto), it means that he/she is asked politely to leave due to overstay. Wow… if it were me, I’d be overjoyed and even stay longer :D.