Ochazuke (お茶漬け) is a Japanese comfort food that is very easy to make.
The basic ingredients are cooked rice, toppings of your choice, and either green tea, dashi (a Japanese broth), or just plain water.
It’s mainly used as a quick snack instead of a full meal.
Basically, you just use leftover rice and then add some more ingredients that you have at hand.
Ochazuke is nothing fancy, although there are more elaborate versions available in restaurants.
Naturally, I’m interested in the version with green tea.
Here’s a video where you can see some recipes, that way you’ll understand the idea.
You might also want to add a bit of soy sauce in case that you find the taste to be bland.
History of Ochazuke
Before tea was popular in Japan, there was a custom of adding water to cooked rice.
At the time the technology to easily keep cooked rice warm wasn’t available, so this was a way to use leftover rice that had cooled and was thus dry and hard.
It’s not known for sure when did this practice begun, but the oldest records found so far are from the Heian period (794 – 1185).
For example, it’s mentioned in the famous “Tale of Genji”.
Later on in the Edo period (1603 – 1868), after the masses drank tea daily, ochazuke took the form that we see today.
Nowadays there’s even instant ochazuke in the Japanese market.
Further thoughts about ochazuke
I’ve seen ochazuke prepared with oolong tea, so there’s nothing stopping us tea lovers from using pretty much any tea that we want.
You might even go a step further and use non-Japanese ingredients.
I think that there’s a lot of potential for very interesting combinations.