Ochazuke is one of my favorite Japanese comfort foods. In Japan, people tend to eat it when they are under the weather, jet-lagged, at the end of a long night of eating and drinking, or when they’re hungover. Traditionally, it consists of steamed rice, a broth of green tea and a variety of tasty toppings. Honestly, I do not remember the first time I had ochazuke (although there’s a good chance it was at the end of a very late night!) but I do know I’ve loved it ever since. At the time, I was blown away that something this delicate was eaten at the end of long night of eating and drinking. Fast forward to today and this has become a breakfast staple for my family, but we also eat it at night. There really is no bad time to eat ochazuke.
My favorite ochazuke recipe has a combination of dashi and green tea for the broth, because I really love the combination of those flavors, plus the toppings of broiled salmon, umeboshi, scallions and furikake.
One note: this recipe is my favorite version, but just so you know, the topping options are nearly endless, so I left some examples of what you can use.
For the fish, I sometimes slice it very thin and let the hot dashi broth cook it. Other times I use fish that I have already cooked.
For the tea, I prefer genmaicha, which is green tea with toasted rice, but a standard Japanese green tea (like sencha) works well, too.
In a small saucepot combine the dashi, green tea, sake, mirin, white tamari and soy sauce and bring to a simmer. In a small serving bowl big enough to hold the rice and broth, add the steamed rice and then pour over the dashi/tea broth combination.
Now place the broiled salmon in the middle of the bowl, then the chopped umeboshi next to the salmon, and on the opposite side add the sliced scallions. Sprinkle with furikake and enjoy!
This is my perfect ochazuke, but you can basically make your own from this point by adding what you want. Some of my suggestions are: Motoi Nori's Kizami (shredded) Nori, other types of fish, tofu, daikon sprouts, etc.
(Note: If you plan to use raw fish, thinly slice and place on top of the rice. Then pour the hot tea/dashi mixture over the fish to cook it.)