Japanese Green Tea Rice
Smoked Salmon Ochazuke
For those who are not deeply immersed in Japanese culture, adding green tea to white rice might seem a little odd. Japanese green tea rice is actually quite popular, however. It is a Japanese comfort food commonly enjoyed as a snack rather than a meal—late evening sustenance with the intention of providing needed energy and mental clarity, a mid-day pick-me-up, or something to warm ones bones in cool weather. That said, we see nothing wrong with incorporating it into your lunch routine.
Ochazuke doesn’t need to include a plethora of toppings; it often includes no more than rice with hot green tea poured over it—maybe with a sprinkling of sesame seeds, maby not. Some versions of green tea on rice will incorporate a bit of dashi, some are vegan, some will include everything from bonito flakes and fish roe to bubu arare ( crispy rice balls) and pickled plums. We wanted our Ochazuke to be hearty enough to work as a lunch to get us through our workday, so we incorporated protein-rich smoked salmon and plenty of pickled and fermented vegetables, sheets of pressed seaweed, and loads of sesame seeds.
For our Japanese tea rice, we made a savory broth using white miso paste and a vibrant and flavorful Ceylon green tea of the highest quality from our collection. The result is a satisfying and healthy dish that you are going to crave often!
Popular Japanese comfort food, Ochazuke (with smoked salmon and green tea)
- ½ cup white rice
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cup Fresh brewed green tea
- 1 teaspoon Miso paste
- Smoked salmon, pulled apart into bite-sized pieces
- Pickled vegetables, such as carrots, radish, and cucumber
- Roasted, salted nori sheets, cut into ¼-inch by 1-inch strips
- Sesame seeds
- Add your rice, salt, and water together in a pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir and reduce the heat to simmer. Cover and continue to simmer for 30 minutes. Fluff and remove from heat.
- While your rice is cooking, make your broth. Wisk the miso paste into the pre-brewed green tea until thoroughly combined.
- To assemble, add about ½ cup rice to a bowl and top with salted nori, pickled vegetables, smoked salmon, and scallions. Pour broth around the rice until it is mostly submerged. Top with sesame seeds.
- Note: we chose a variety of pickled and fermented vegetables, smoked salmon, and nori for our Ochazuke, but feel free to incorporate any additions or substitutions into yours. You really can’t go wrong with this Japanese comfort food. Likewise, if you would prefer to use chicken or vegetable bouillon in place of miso paste, that works too!