Taiken Japan

Autumn Leaves 2016


Photo: syasara on Flickr


Sanny Soedjatmiko Hartanto

Beside the sushi and ramen, Japan is also popular with their green tea. Do you love to drink green tea? Isn’t it too bitter for you? Japanese people really love to drink green tea, and sometimes they use green tea to make a dish called “Ochazuke” or “Chazuke” in Japan.


Photo: Dan McKay on Flickr



“Ocha” or “cha” means tea in Japanese, while “zuke” means submerge. So, “Ochazuke” is a Japanese dish made by pouring green tea over cooked rice, of course with some toppings. For the toppings, they usually use Japanese pickles, nori (seaweed), sesame seeds, mentaiko (salted and marinated Pollock roe), seafood (such as maguro/tuna or salmon), and wasabi. Not to forget the hot green tea! Not only the hot green tea, but nowadays, Japanese people also use the hot water to be poured into the cooked rice. They usually make it at their own house, because hot water should be cheaper than the hot green tea.



For a long time, I really want to try this dish, and finally I have tried this “Ochazuke” at Narita airport. I have ordered the tuna Ochazuke, because I really love tuna. When the dish came, what I see are a bowl of rice with raw tuna, sesame seeds, green onions, a bowl of tofu, and one small pot of hot green tea! Let’s eat then! “Itadakimasu!”, Japanese people say that word before they begin to eat. I poured the hot green tea on the bowl, and the fresh raw tuna turned into slightly cooked tuna (because of the hotness of the green tea). The color of the tuna is also turned into light brown. What I can say about that? It really looks delicious. I began to eat, and yes it was really delicious. The texture of the tuna and the rice are so soft. If you think that rice with green tea is a bad combination, I can say that you are wrong! Try to eat it and you will know!



Photo: AJ Espejo on Flickr

This kind of dishes is really good to be eaten for breakfast or late supper. It is also known that “Ochazuke” is really good for our stomach. For all of you who have a problem with digestion system, I recommend you to eat this dish everyday in the morning.

“Ochazuke” became popular in Japan since the Heian period (hot water most commonly poured over cooked rice), and in Edo period, they used hot tea to be poured over it.



Photo: Richard Masoner on Flickr

You can make this dish, “Ochazuke” by yourself at your home, using your leftovers for the topping, and pouring the hot water or hot green tea over it. It is not so difficult to make this kind of dish, just pouring the hot green tea over the cooked rice with your favorite toppings. If you don’t like to use your leftovers as the topping, now you can buy an instant “Ochazuke” at any stores in Japan. Feeling curious about the taste? Try it then! Enjoy your first “Ochazuke” in Japan! Itadakimasu!