Have you ever wanted to make yourself a cup of tea, but you also wanted to get soup?
It seems that the Japanese are into this dilemma quite frequently, which inspired them to invent a dish known as chazuke.
I first heard of chazuke from a chef friend a while back. He mentioned that he never throws away his tea, even if he’d forgotten about it and it’d gone cold and stale. Why? He'll use it for this dish!
Chazuke is a very simple to make. You just need to pour green tea over cooked rice just like how you’d pour milk over cereal, and usually with several other goodies mixed in.
Other add-ins can include tsukemono, umeboshi (both types of pickles), nori (seaweed), furikake (a Japanese seasoning), tarako (salted Alaska pollock roe) and mentaiko (marinated roe), salted salmon, shiokara (pickled seafood) and wasabi.
So the next time you are faced with this heart-wrenching dilemma, just think chazuke – you can have your tea and eat soup too!
By the way, there's an interesting fact about chazuke. Just in case you get to Kyoto, and your host asks if you want to eat chazuke …it means that the person thinks that you have overstayed and are politely being asked to leave.