Ochazuke - Rice with Tea

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ochazuke - Rice with tea
Ochazuke with Salmon

I haven't felt like cooking, baking or blogging much lately. The tragedy in Japan overwhelms me and my heart. Earthquake, tsunami, nuclear reactors, H5N1 flu found in chickens and the snow. I really have no words, just sadness...and hope. I know the Japanese people will make it through this difficult time and I can only send donations and my prayers. Ganbatte Japan! I want to again thank Maki of Just Bento and Just Hungry blog who is tweeting English translations of Japanese news sources (I really wish I learned Japanese as a child from my immigrant mom).

Anyway, I thought it would be appropriate to finally post of my many posts in queue: Ochazuke, a Japanese comfort food. Because we all need some comforting right now. Basically, it is tea poured over rice with any number of goodies.

This is part of a "series" of cooking I'm doing for my friend Pam and her super cute kid, Toby. I sent her a box of stuff I picked up at a Japanese grocery store, including the Ochazuke mix and am cooking some easy to make dishes.

Ochazuke Collage 1
For this, you need leftover or fresh rice. Have you tried these packets of cooked rice? I find they so handy. Just pop into the microwave for 90 seconds and you have hot rice. Salmon is often added to Ochazuke but not mandatory. Of course, a nice piece of grilled salmon rocks, but packaged salmon works for me in a pinch. Finally, you can purchase Ochazuke seasonings and green tea at a Japanese store. They have a lot of flavors; most have wakame or dehydrated seaweed and some sort of crunchy balls. You don't have to have this...it just adds more toppings. The most basic Ochazuke is rice and tea - I used to eat it that way all the time. I really like Genmai Cha green tea - it isn't as bitter as regular green tea because there is roasted rice in the mix.

Ochazuke 2
Simple instructions: 1. Place heated rice in a bowl. 2. Top with salmon or any other toppings. 3. Top with Ochazuke topping 4. Pour hot brewed green tea over the top.

Ochazuke - Rice with tea
You can also top it with a sunny side up egg and an umeboshi (pickled plum). I find this dish total comfort food and a great late night snack...especially when studying or working on a project.

P.S. On a totally different note, I'm running in the Los Angeles Marathon's 5K (only 3.1 miles) this Saturday with Team Noah's Wish. I have a fundraising page here if you are interested in supporting Noah's Wish: providing care to animals in a disaster. Thank you!!
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Cool Chic Style Fashion said... [Reply to comment]

Una ricetta molto particolare, complimenti ♥ ciao

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Food Librarian,

FYI, the Lede on the NYTimes is streaming Japanese TV with English translation. Take a look but don't get hooked!


The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

@Anonymous Dear NS, Thanks! I've been following that too. And @tokyoreporter has been tweeting too. - mary

Jocie's Mom said... [Reply to comment]

great comfort recipe for a tough time. :(

Liz said... [Reply to comment]

I married a Japanese American and never understood why he loved this so much. I used to think it was gross, but now I understand why. Thanks for posting this!

Lindsey@Lindselicious said... [Reply to comment]

YUM! Love this with an ume, one of my favorite meals when I am sick.

elle marie said... [Reply to comment]

Nice to see this post Mary, I'm finally out of panic mode and thankful my family is safe, friends found and safe.... so seeing this brings great comfort, it's quite a comfort food for me as well. My favorite part is the crunchy rice (if you not using a rice maker) at the bottom. Do you like Genmai?

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

@elle marie Hi Elle Marie, So glad to hear your family and friends are all safe. I love genmai cha! Definitely my favorite. :) - mary

Heather S-G said... [Reply to comment]

This is a beautiful tribute and a dish I've never heard of...it sounds and looks like comfort in a bowl =)

Mary said... [Reply to comment]

Lucky Toby. Thank you for posting this, now, for us.

Francesca said... [Reply to comment]

Dear Mary, I'm thinking of all the Japanese people too - hopefully things will get better.
I am organising a small Japanese afternoon on Sunday to raise some money and would like to cook some easy Japanese snack, can you advise?

Thank you

Jennie said... [Reply to comment]

I love ochazuke. You're right, it is comfort in a bowl.

It is so incredibly sad what has happened in Japan. I can't read some of the articles at work because I'll start crying at the reference desk and I get funny looks from people. I am really glad to read that your family and friends there are ok.

Kimberly(Unrivaledkitch) said... [Reply to comment]

oh childhood may you flood back into my mind when times were care free and peaceful.

with all your Japanese posts, i remember things that i haven't had in a long time but used to enjoy so much. I know exactly what your saying about not wanting to do much cooking blogging etc but all we can do is donate and think peaceful,kind. and compassionate thoughts to help the people out of this horrible tragedy.

thank you for sharing some comfort with me

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said... [Reply to comment]

This looks delicious, and something I'd like to try. Thank you for sharing!

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