Green Tea Over Rice (Ochazuke) Recipe Ideas

Green Tea Over Rice (Ochazuke) Recipe Ideas

Ochazuke is a quick-to-prepare traditional Japanese dish made by pouring green tea over cooked rice and topping it with a sprinkle of savories. It has been been around in one form or another since at least the 8th century Heian era.

The toppings and green tea instantly transform a humble bowl of rice into a culinary delight.

Nori seaweed, umeboshi and arareTraditional toppings include savories such as nori (dried seasoned seaweed), arare (crushed rice crackers), umeboshi (pickled plums), katsuo-bushi (bonito flakes) and iri-goma (toasted sesame seeds).

Below is a typical recipe with nori, arare and umeboshi.

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Ingredients

  • One bowl of cooked rice. White rice is fine, though I prefer brown.
  • One cup green tea
  • One sheet of nori (about 5×5 cm). Cut into strips
  • Japanese rice crackers (any kind). The small, bite-sized ones are called arare
  • One or two umeboshi pickled plums

Hint: You can choose any green tea you like. I like konacha because it is fast to prepare and economical (it’s what most sushi bars serve). Sencha is great, but it’s such a high-end tea that I prefer to have it by itself. Teas like hojicha will add a distinct raosty flavor to your dish.

Directions

  1. Brew your green tea (you can read about how-to-brew how-to-brew)
  2. Put the rice crackers in a small plastic bag and crush (a roll pin will help)
  3. Cut the nori in thin strips and dice the umeboshi plums
  4. Sprinkle the crushed rice crackers, nori strips and umeboshi (whole or minced) on top of the rice
  5. Pour green tea over the rice.

Be Creative

There are no hard-and-fast rules for how to make Ochazuke. All you need is cooked rice (even leftovers from takeouts), some green tea and toppings you like.

Be bold and experiment! If you are in a hurry, you don’t even need to warm the rice up.

Pre-made toppings

You can buy Ochazuke pre-made topping mixes from a Japanese grocer. They come in small sealed packs and are relatively inexpensive. Just make sure the product label does not include ingredients you don’t like (such as excessive salt or MSG).

Western-style toppings

You can also make your own topping with western ingredients you like. Smoked salmon, bacon bits, chopped green onions, dried tomatoes, diced pickles, anchovies or similar savories will work just fine.

Typical Japanese Toppings for Ochazuke

 

Arare is small Japanese rice crackers, typically flavored with soy sauce.Arare: Small rice crackers, typically flavored with soy sauce. Crush before mixing.

Umeboshi Japanese pickled plums

Umeboshi: Pickled plums

Japane dried seaweed sheets (nori)

Nori: Dried seaweed sheets

Katsuo-bushi is Japanese dried bonito flakes

Katsuo-bushi: Dried bonito flakes. Add a few drops of soy sauce.

Irigoma is roasted Japanese sesame seeds. Use whole or ground.

Irigoma: Roasted sesame seeds. Use whole or ground.

Shiokara is Japanese fermented squid and innards. This is an acquired taste!

Shiokara: Fermented squid and innards. This is an acquired taste!

Mentaiko is marinated Japanese cod roe

Mentaiko: Marinated cod roe. This is also an acquired taste!

Tsukemono is Japanese pickled vegetables

Tsukemono: Japanese pickled vegetables

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Yoshi

Yoshi

Yoshi is a contributing editor for Miyazaki Whispers. She holds a 5-dan rank in Japanese Kyudo Archery, and has lived and worked in Japan, UK and US in global marketing and as an IT localization professional. Yoshi's interests are Japanese and western cuisine and kimono art.
Yoshi

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Yoshi

About Yoshi

Yoshi is a contributing editor for Miyazaki Whispers. She holds a 5-dan rank in Japanese Kyudo Archery, and has lived and worked in Japan, UK and US in global marketing and as an IT localization professional. Yoshi's interests are Japanese and western cuisine and kimono art.
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