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Craving for a dish that is light yet comforting? This easy, homemade Ochazuke with green tea, steamed rice, and simple savory ingredients will hit the right spot.
Ochazuke (お茶漬け) is a simple one-bowl dish featuring steamed rice with an assortment of savory ingredients, partially steeped in green tea. Ocha refers to green tea, and zuke means “submerged”. Instead of proper mealtime food, the Japanese enjoy it more as a quick meal or at the end of the meal to fill up.
Ochazuke – The Comfort Food
Soothing to eat and easy on the stomach, Ochazuke is the kind of comfort food that I crave. When I suffer from jet lag after a long plane ride from Japan, I would always make the rice dish to satisfy my midnight hunger pangs. The warm tea and rice were well received by my exhausted body and tasting it immediately comforted my homesickness.
We often eat Ochazuke when we feel under the weather or simply when there are no other ingredients to cook with. It’s the easiest meal to put together! All the ingredients are the usual staples from a Japanese pantry.
In Japanese manga and drama, you’ll find scenes of Japanese student scarfing down a bowl of Ochazuke while burning the midnight oil, or a tired salaryman gets home from work and need something quick to eat before hitting the snooze button.
Ochazuke is a perfect quick meal to ease your hunger, as it’s light and can be quickly prepared. It also has the magic to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside after eating.
Types of Green Tea & Broth You Can Use for Ochazuke
You can use various kinds of green tea such as Genmaicha, Sencha, Hojicha, etc to make Ochazuke. However, when you order Ochazuke in Japanese restaurants, it is typically made with dashi broth instead of green tea.
The Ochazuke served with green tea tends to be bland and relies on salty toppings to add flavors. But with good dashi, the dish can be very flavorful even with just a few simple toppings.
You can also make it with cold tea or broth in summer time.
Suggestions for Toppings
I know some of the ingredients are quite hard to get outside of Japan, so feel free to change it up. You can keep it simple by using leftover rice and whatever you have from the fridge!
Here are the ingredients commonly used to make Ochazuke:
- Bubu Arare (tiny rice cracker balls)
- Japanese pickles like umeboshi (salted pickled plum)
- Nori seaweed
- Pollock roe (tarako & mentaiko)
- Salmon Flakes (recipe coming soon!)
- Salmon roe (ikura)
- Salted Salmon
- Scallion or mitsuba
- Sea Bream (tai) sashimi
- Sesame seeds
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 over. It’s convenient, but you can’t beat the taste and flavor of homemade Ochazuke.
I often make the recipe when I have leftover salted salmon. It is especially comforting and delicious with homemade dashi broth! I wouldn’t even mind eating it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Watch How to Make Ochazuke
Craving for a light comforting dish? This easy, homemade Ochazuke with green tea, steamed rice, and simple savory ingredients will hit the right spot.
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
- 1 salted salmon (or ½ fillet of salmon and pinch of salt)
- 1 cup cooked Japanese short-grain rice
- 1 tsp Bubu arare (crispy puffed rice pallets) (or use Japanese rice crackers)
- 1 tsp shredded nori seaweed (kizami nori)
- ¼ tsp toasted white sesame seeds
- 2 stands Mitsuba (Japanese parsley) (trefoil, or ⅛ scallion, cut into small pieces)
- Wasabi (optional, for taste)
- 2 tsp Japanese green tea leaves (I used Genmaicha, but Sencha, Hojicha, Mugicha works as well; 3 gram (1 tsp) tea leaves for 100 ml (about ½ cup) hot water)
- 1 cup hot water (see the tea package for appropriate temperature for your tea leaves)
- ½ tsp soy sauce (optional)
Gather all the ingredients.
Bake the salted salmon fillet (Shiojake) at 425F degree for 20-25 minutes until the skin and flesh are blistering and charred (Japanese salted salmon is always cooked till firm). 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 crush it).
Ochazuke with Dashi: Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Pour the soup into a small teapot.
Ochazuke with Tea: Put tea leaves in the pot. Bring the water to the appropriate temperature for your tea and pour it into the pot. Set aside for 1-2 minutes (follow the directions on your teabag).
Now serve the cooked rice in the serving bowl. Place the shredded salmon and sprinkle the rice cracker, nori, and sesame seeds on top. Serve with tsukemono, such as Pickled Cucumber, as a part of the meal.
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.
For the summer: You can use cold rice and cold dashi or tea in the summertime to enjoy a cool and refreshing version of Ochazuke.
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.
Editor’s Note: The post was originally published on July 23, 2014. It’s been edited and republished in April 2020.