Chazuke (茶漬け, ちゃづけ) or ochazuke (お茶漬け, from o + cha tea + tsuke submerge) is a simple Japanese dish made by pouring green tea, dashi, or hot water over cooked rice, roughly in the same proportion as milk over cereal, usually with savoury toppings.
Common toppings include Japanese pickles such as tsukemono, umeboshi, nori (seaweed), furikake, sesame seeds, tarako and mentaiko (salted and marinated Alaska pollock roe), salted salmon, shiokara (pickled seafood), scallions 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.
This dish first became popular in the Heian period, when water was most commonly poured over rice, but beginning in the Edo period, tea was often used instead.
In Kyoto, ochazuke is known as bubuzuke. When a Kyoto native asks if a guest wants to eat bubuzuke, it may really mean that the person has overstayed and is being politely asked to leave.
Since the 1970s packaged “instant ochazuke”, consisting of freeze-dried toppings and seasonings, have become popular. (x)
Is Chazuke consider a common, inexpensive dish in Japan? Considering Atsushi said he made some back in the orphanage(chapter 1) but wonder how much is a dish in just a normal restaurant is.
I’m not sure how many restaurants would carry chazuke, but it’s definitely common and inexpensive. Most people use it as a quick and easy way to finish off leftover rice. Just dump tea, dashi, or really whatever you’ve got handy over rice and top with, again, whatever you’ve got handy. It’s kinda their version of broke-college-student-who-can’t-cook food, except most everyone in Japan can handle food prep just fine since it’s part of their education much moreso than in other countries. Atsushi probably went for chazuke in the orphanage kitchens because it was something that could be made very quickly and quietly, and because it uses so few ingredients that no one would notice food missing. From what I’ve seen, a bowl at a chazuke place costs around ￥700-￥1300, or roughly $6.85-$12.75, depending on what fancy toppings you want.
Liz sez: Just to add to this, my kindergarten students would make chazuke with their leftovers just to clean the rice bowl so at 5-6 years olds they already could make it. :D (Related to the food prep thing, most young adults I’ve met here still can’t really cook so something like chazuke would be quite accesible XD They learn how to serve their school lunches and have much better nutrition education in school, but as far as the food they eat, their mothers often prepare everything up till they graduate high school, and sometimes even beyond then.)
Ochazuke, or chazuke, (cha meaning tea, zuke meaning pickled/submerged) is a simple dish consisting of rice submerged in tea or dashi broth. Somewhere between a soup and a porridge, it is made by pouring hot tea over cooked rice to warm it up. Pairing salted salmon with green tea brings out more flavor from the fish, creating a savory, light broth.