Sunday, April 6, 2008

Chazuke (茶漬け)

Found this recipe while surfing the Net. Chazuke, which literally means "submerged in tea", is a simple dish of rice submerged in, well, tea and topped with savoury ingredients like nori, roasted sesame seeds, and katsuobushi flakes. It has been around for around 500 years, and, for a traditional Japanese dish, is insanely easy to prepare.

1 1/2 cups leftover rice
furikake (Japanese rice seasoning)*
Japanese green tea, piping hot (enough to submerge the rice)
1/2 tsp wasabi (optional)

1. Put rice in a deep bowl.
2. Top with furikake (and wasabi, if so desired).
3. Pour green tea.

That's it. After pouring the tea, cover the bowl and wait five minutes before serving to allow the rice to absorb the flavours of the furikake and tea. This may be eaten on its own, or served with grilled chicken or salmon teriyaki (the sweet teriyaki will complement the salty and mildly bitter chazuke). You may also top it with tsukemono (Japanese pickles).

* If you don't have ready-made furikake lying around, you can easily make your own. It's basically a mixture of roasted sesame seeds, chopped nori (dried seaweeds), sugar, salt, and katsuobushi flakes (more commonly known as bonito flakes outside Japan). If katsuobushi is hard to come by, you can try replacing it with some mild tuyo flakes, although the flavour will not really be the same. Or you can just drop the katsuobushi and make it a vegetarian dish.

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