How to Make a Uniquely Japanese Dish - Ochazuke!

Have you ever had ochazuke before? Chances are, unless you have been to Japan, you haven’t! While not very popular outside of Japan, its a common Japanese comfort food that is eaten across the country by people from all walks of life. Ochazuke is white rice with hot green tea poured over it, and usually topped with seaweed, salted fish, or other simple savoury ingredients. While its not a proper “sit down with your whole family and enjoy it together” kind of meal, ochazuke is still enjoyed by people looking for a quick bite, or eaten after a meal is finished to help you feel full and use up extra rice. Since it’s usually made with leftover ingredients and things one has at home already, it’s not an expensive dish to make either!

What is Ochazuke Anyway?

Ochazuke is a uniquely Japanese food that is quick and easy to make, filling, really cheap, and extremely comforting! Its great for a quick meal, or even a dessert. Made from all the staples of a Japanese pantry, ochazuke is great whether you’re a student cramming to get a paper done or a businessman just home from a long shift. Its also often eaten at the end of meals in Japanese restaurants, where the staff will make it using any remaining rice on the table as a simple dessert. You might have even seen it being enjoyed in an anime and had no idea that was what they were eating!

The name “ochazuke” comes from a combination of two Japanese words; “ocha,” which means tea, and “zuke,” which roughly means submerged. And that is exactly how ochazuke is made, by submerging rice in tea! So if you’re ready for a meal that you can make even when you’re tired and want to try something that is truly Japanese, you can try to make ochazuke at home. Depending on the toppings you chose, its very easy to make ochazuke vegan and vegetarian friendly as well!

What you need:

Ochazuke Recipe( Makes: 1 serving )

cooked rice
1 cup

Japanese green tea leaves (genmaicha is ideal, but you can also use hojicha, sencha, or mugicha)
2 tsp

hot water (or the recommended amount for your tea leaves)
1 cup

soy sauce
1/2 tsp

Optional Ingredients:

Optional toppings: 1 tsp crushed Japanese rice crackers, 1 tsp shredded dry seaweed, 1 tsp cut scallion, 1 tsp white sesame seeds, 1/2 fillet of salted salmon, wasabi to taste

How to Cook It:

  1. 1

    First, prepare your green tea. Put the tea leaves in the pot and add the appropriate temperature of water for your leaves (be sure to check their packaging as different teas require different brewing directions). Set aside 1-2 minutes to cool after it has brewed.
  2. 2

    Next, serve the cooked rice in a bowl. Make sure the rice is already warmed up! Leftover and fresh rice can both be used.
  3. 3

    Pour the tea over the rice until it covers up the rice about halfway, ensuring the liquid gets on everything.
  4. 4

    Add the toppings you have chosen to the top, and enjoy your dish!


Final Thought

There you have it—a simple, yummy, and economical dish that you can make easily at home, especially if you have some leftover rice! Plus its totally okay to change out your own toppings and ingredients for what you like and have available, so have some fun experimenting. While the toppings we listed are the most traditional ones, there is no wrong answer for what you enjoy eating. If you have some available, you can also substitute the green tea for dashi sauce, which will make your ochazuke even more salty and flavourful. We hope you like it!

Have you ever had ochazuke before? Are you going to try to make some now with our recipe? If you have had it, or have made it before, did you like it? How did our recipe work for you? What toppings did you use for your ochazuke? Would you like to see another similar recipe for something else? Let us know in the comments!

Bungou-Stray-Dogs-Wallpaper-500x281 How to Make a Uniquely Japanese Dish - Ochazuke!


Author: Jet Nebula

Living the dream in Tokyo, where you can find me working at a theme café catered towards women. When I’m not writing for Honey’s, I’m working on original dystopian science fiction or blogging about Tokyo’s trendy coffee scene. I spend my free time in Harajuku and Shibuya wearing alternative Japanese street fashion. I love video games, J-rock, tattoos, and Star Wars.

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