Salmon ochazuke is a traditional Japanese dish of steamed rice served in a small rice bowl, topped with grilled salmon and tea. Essentially, ochazuke is a simple, Japanese rustic soup of rice with tea.
Depending on individual tastes, optional garnishes such as thinly sliced dried seaweed (kizami nori), puffed rice crackers shaped like tiny balls (ochazuke arare or bubu arare), wasabi (hot Japanese horseradish), and fresh vegetables (mitsuba, a Japanese herb), tsukemono (pickled vegetables), or tsukudani (savory accompaniments to rice such as seasoned kelp, simmered dried seafood, etc.) are used to enhance the flavor of this salmon ochazuke.
While the ingredients for ochazuke are only limited by the creativity of the individual’s preferences, it is very common to enjoy small bits of leftover fish, or any other component of a Japanese meal, ochazuke-style. Often, ochazuke is enjoyed at the end of a meal to finish up the last few bites of rice. Other times, it is enjoyed with a second helping of rice, and as a customary last dish of the meal.
The Japanese tea that is used for this salmon ochazuke recipe is green tea, which is sometimes referred to as sencha or nihon-cha. Ochazuke is traditionally enjoyed with this most basic of Japanese teas; however, there are other types of Japanese tea that may be used with this recipe. For example, hoji-cha (roasted green tea), genmai-cha (toasted brown rice tea), or any other variety of sencha. Typically for ochazuke, Japanese teas are preferred over black teas, only because the flavor is mild and does not overpower the dish.
As for the rice, traditional Japanese short-grain white rice (hakumai) is commonly used. However, we prefer short-grain brown rice (genmai), which tastes equally as delicious. Others mix barley (mugi) into their white or brown rice, which tastes equally great in ochazuke as well. The choice is yours!
For this salmon ochazuke recipe, the best time to make this is after you’ve had a meal of grilled salmon or shiokoji salmon. Set aside a small leftover piece, or grill an extra piece just for making ochazuke later, and easily create a delicious dish of ochazuke.
Salmon ochazuke may be enjoyed as a meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or it may be enjoyed as a snack during the day or late at night.
Note: The cooking times for this recipe assume that both the rice and salmon have already been cooked, or leftovers are available. If you are cooking the rice and salmon fresh instead of using leftovers, allow 45 minutes for this recipe.
- 2/3 cup short-grain rice (cooked)
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup (just enough to cover the rice) Japanese green tea (hot brewed)
- 1/4 cup small pieces of salmon (grilled)
- Garnish: 1 tablespoon tsukemono
- Optional: Handful of dried kizami nori
- Optional: Small bubu arare (or ochazuke arare to taste)
- Optional: Mitsuba to taste (or green onions)
- Optional: Wasabi to taste
Place a 2/3 cup of cooked rice in a small rice bowl. If using leftover rice, reheat the rice in the microwave first.
Add a 1/4 cup of grilled salmon and desired garnishes.
Pour a 1/2 to 2/3 cup of hot brewed green tea over the rice, salmon, and garnishes.