Ochazuke(The World’s Healthiest Fast Food) – Healthy Japanese Home Cooking
vol.10 see all recipes
I’ve put together a series of tasty recipes for healthy Japanese dishes that are simple to make, wherever in the world you might be. I hope you’ll enjoy mastering Japanese home cooking while learning how to use ingredients that are good for health and beauty.
The World’s Healthiest Fast Food
Ochazuke is a rice dish that’s ideal when you’re only slightly hungry or just want something light to round off a meal. Basically consisting of piping hot green tea poured over cooked rice, this quick and easy meal has been a popular dish on Japanese dining tables for more than 200 years.
The green tea that is the “ocha” in ochazuke is rich in a polyphenol called catechin, which has a number of health-promoting effects, including anti-cancer effects, fat-burning effects, and anti-bacterial effects. There are three key points to remember in order to enhance these effects.
(1) Use powdered green tea, rather than expensive gyokuro green tea.
Cheap powdered green tea, which consists of tea leaves ground into a powder, contains more catechin than top of the range gyokuro and other higher-grade green teas containing leaves and stems.
Make the tea by putting a generous quantity of green tea into a tea strainer or infuser and pouring hot (but not boiling) water over it.
(2) Choose ingredients with an anti-aging effect.
Choose ingredients that are effective in promoting health and beauty, including those rich in antioxidants and those with an anti-bacterial effect.
(3) Eat with an orange or satsuma orange.
Eating this meal with an orange or satsuma orange – fruits that are rich in vitamin A – will make it easier for your body to absorb the green tea catechin.
If you want tasty ochazuke without the effort, I recommend ochazuke-no-moto (dried instant ochazuke broth).
You can use this as a base and just add a healthy ingredient to it. If you’re visiting Japan, take a trip to a supermarket and choose from the wide array of ochazuke-no-moto products to take home as a souvenir.
Ingredients (each variation serves 1 person)
Cooked rice 1 bowlful
Green tea 1 potful
Salted salmon (grilled), dried nori (laver), wasabi, senbei rice crackers
◎Umé (Japanese apricot) chazuke
Uméboshi (salted Japanese apricot), shiso (Perilla frutescens; cut into strips), senbei rice crackers
◎Natto (fermented soybeans) chazuke
Natto, takuan (pickled daikon radish; cut into strips), dried nori (laver), aonori (green, powdered nori)
Pile the cooked rice into a rice bowl, then cut the toppings into bite-sized pieces and place them on the rice. All you need to do then is pour piping hot green tea over it and it’s ready. Gradually dissolve the wasabi as you eat, savoring the aroma.
Choose salmon with bright red flesh.
Umé (Japanese apricot) chazuke
You can use sesame seeds or mitsuba (Japanese parsley) if you don’t have shiso.
Natto (fermented soybeans) chazuke
This is surprisingly easy to eat, because the tea removes the characteristically pungent smell of the fermented soybeans.
By SUGI AKATSUKI see all recipes
Graduate of the University of Tokyo. Researches culinary culture and foods that promote longevity and beauty. Studied basic medical science and life science at university. After studying organic food and Kushi macrobiotics, she began to conduct culinary research independently. Her motto is “simple ways to stay beautiful.” Her specialty is healthy dishes ideal for the busy woman of today. She also teaches yoga and has a popular blog（http://saqai.com/）.
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