Making chazuke (cha-tsu-ke)

Chazuke is one of my favorite go-to dish, especially in winter time. It is light, comforting, flavorful and simple to make.

But what is chazuke? Let’s go to Wiki =)

Chazuke (, ちゃづけ) or ochazuke (, from o + cha tea + tsuke submerge) is a simple Japanese dish made by pouring green teadashi, or hot water over cooked rice roughly in the same proportion as milk over cereal, usually with savoury toppings. Common toppings include tsukemonoumeboshi (both types of pickles), nori (seaweed), furikakesesame seedstarako and mentaiko (salted and marinated Alaska pollock roe), salted salmonshiokara (pickled seafood) and wasabi. The dish is easy to make and provides a way to use leftover rice as a quick snack. It is also known as cha-cha gohan.

Growing up, whenever I was sick and had no appetite, my mom would pour a packet of chazuke (dried seaweed, salmon flakes, seasonings) over white rice, and add hot water. I would always finish the bowl regardless of how bad I felt. It was nothing fancy, just flavorful, comforting soupy rice.

the pre-made seasoning pack that I grew up with

It was not until few years ago, K and I encounter chazuke in a totally different light. We were in a Japanese yakitori house (Sumika), and we saw this fancy set up at another table (borrowed pic). Immediately we ordered one for ourselves, and fell in love with it all over again.

The ingredients were simple, and the delicious dish was brought together by the tea-infused broth. From that day, I vowed to myself that I must figure out the recipe so we may enjoy at home. Today, I will share our household version of chazuke. Enjoy~

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ingredients I used
dried seaweed, dried matsutake mushrooms, bonito shavings, green tea
 salmon roe, pickled plum, and wakame chazuke

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cooking of the broth, assembling the rice bowl
closer look of the ingredients in the bowl, and finished chazuke

Salmon Roe Chazuke, 4 servings

Ingredients (most of these ingredients can be found in Chinese/Japanese Supermarket like Ranch 99, Marina and Nijiya):

Broth

Dried seaweed 1/3 cup; dried(or fresh) matsutake mushroom (or shiitake) 1/3 cup; dried bonito shavings 1/3 cup; green tea packet 1-2 (depending your preference); chicken broth 32oz

Rice Bowl

Cooked rice 4 servings, 1/2 cup each; salmon roe 2-3 oz (if you don’t like salmon roe, can leave out) divided into 4 servings; pickled plum 4 seeded and chopped into small pieces, one per each bowl; sunny-side-up eggs (or over-n-easy), 4, one per each bowl; Wakame Chazuke seasoning, 1/2 tbsp per bowl

Put dried seaweed, mushrooms, bonito shavings and chicken broth in a stockpot over med-high heat. Bring to boil.

While waiting for the broth to broil, assemble the rice bowls. With rice on the bottom, add all other ingredients listed.

Once the broth boils, put in the tea packet. Turn the heat to low, and let simmer with the tea packet for 5 min. Turn off heat, take out the tea packet (very important step, if the tea is overcooked, the broth becomes bitter). The broth is now ready to pour over each rice bowl. =)

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