Ochazuke (お茶漬け) is a simple rice dish which combines green tea (ocha), steamed rice, and an assortment of savory ingredients (zuke means “submerged”). The Japanese enjoy this dish more as quick meal or a dish at the end of the meal to fill up instead of proper meal time food.
For me, ochazuke is one of my favorite comfort food. It was a perfect amount of food for my midnight snack when I had jet lag. The warm tea and rice were well received by my exhausted body and tasting it immediately comforted my homesickness.
We often eat ochazuke when you feel under the weather or simply when there are no other ingredients to cook with. The ingredients for ochazuke recipe are pretty common in Japanese pantry so we don’t need to go shopping specifically to make this dish.
You might have seen in Japanese manga or drama that a student eats ochazuke during late night while studying or when a salaryman gets home from work after midnight and need something to eat before sleeping. Ochazuke is a perfect quick meal to ease your hunger, as it’s light, can be quickly prepared, and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside after eating.
Various kinds of green tea such as Genmaicha, Sencha, Hojicha etc) are commonly used for ochazuke and it’s easy to prepare. However, when you order ochazuke in Japanese restaurants, the ochazuke recipe is typically made with good dashi broth and that’s my personal favorite.
The ochazuke served with green tea tends to be more bland and relies on salty toppings to add some flavors. But with good dashi, your ochazuke can be very flavorful even with just a few simple toppings.
Speaking of toppings, here are some of the ingredients that commonly used for ochazuke recipe in Japan: Japanese pickles like Salted Plum (Umeboshi), (spicy), pollock roe (tarako & mentaiko), salmon roe (ikura), Salted Salmon, Sea Bream (tai) sashimi, tiny rice crackers (bubu arare), nori seaweed, sesame seeds, scallion or mitsuba, and wasabi.
I know some of these ingredients are quite hard to get outside of Japan so feel free to change the ingredients and create your own ochazuke recipe. Making ochazuke is a great way to use up leftover rice and other foods from your fridge!
Lastly, I want to quickly mention that there are instant ochazuke packets you can buy from Japanese/Asian grocery stores or Amazon. They include dried pickled plum, salmon, nori, rice crackers, and green tea, and all you need to do is pour hot water or tea. It’s convenient, but you can’t beat the taste and flavor of homemade ochazuke. Especially with good dashi broth, it is so comforting and delicious!
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- 1 salted salmon (or ½ fillet of salmon and pinch of salt)
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 tsp. Bubu arare (crispy puffed rice pallets or use Japanese rice crackers)
- 1 tsp. shredded nori (seaweed)
- ¼ tsp. roasted white sesame seeds
- 2 strands of mitsuba (trefoil) (or ⅛ scallion), cut into small pieces
- Wasabi for taste (optional)
- Ochazuke With Dashi (picture on the left)
- 1 cup dashi
- 1 tsp. mirin
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- Ochazuke With Green Tea (picture on the right)
- 2 tsp. Japanese green tea leaves (I used Genmaicha, but Sencha, Hojicha, Mugicha works as well)
- 1 cup hot water (see the tea package for appropriate temperature for your tea leaves)
- ½ tsp. soy sauce (optional)
- Bake the salted salmon fillet (shiojake) at 400F degree for 25 minutes. If you’re using regular salmon, season the salmon with salt and set aside for 10 minutes before baking. When it’s cooked, remove the skin and bones and break up the salmon flesh into flakes. Set aside.
- If you don’t have Bubu Arare, crush rice crackers into small pieces (you can also use a bag to crash it).
- Ochazuke with Dashi: Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Pour the soup into a small tea pot.
- Ochazuke with Tea: Put tea leaves in the pot. Bring the water to the appropriate temperature for your tea and pour into the pot. Set aside for 1-2 minute (follow the directions on your tea bag).
- Now serve the cooked rice in the serving bowl. Place the shredded salmon and sprinkle the rice cracker, nori, and sesame seeds on top.
- Ochazuke with Dashi: Pour the dashi until it covers half of the rice and top with mitsuba and wasabi. Enjoy!
- Ochazuke with Tea: Pour the tea until it covers half of the rice and top with mitsuba and wasabi. Add soy sauce if you like.
Serve with tsukemono, such as Pickled Cucumber, as a part of meal.
You can use cold rice and cold dashi or tea in summer time to enjoy a cool and refreshing version of Ochazuke.
3 gram (1 tsp) tea leaves for 100 ml (about ½ cup).
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.