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, garnishes such as sliced dried seaweed (kizami nori), tiny rice crackers shaped like tiny balls (ochazuke arare or bubu arare), wasabi (hot Japanese horseradish), and fresh vegetables (mitsuba), 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 instead of using leftovers, allow 45 minutes for this recipe.
- 2/3 cup cooked, steamed short-grain rice
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup hot brewed Japanese tea (green tea), just enough to cover the rice
- 1/4 cup Small pieces of grilled salmon
- handful Dried kizami nori (thinly sliced seaweed), optional
- Small bubu arare or ochazuke arare (tiny rice cracker puffs), optional
- Mitsuba to taste (Japanese herb) (green onions, or other greens) optional
- Wasabi to taste (hot Japanese horseradish), optional
- 1 tablespoon Tsukemono (pickled vegetables) serve on the side
- Place the cooked rice in a small rice bowl. If using leftover rice, reheat the rice in the microwave first.
- Add the grilled salmon and desired garnishes.
- Pour the hot brewed green tea over the rice, salmon, and garnishes.