One of the great side effects of watching food-related shows is learning of new things to try and eat. Ok but maybe not so great when it’s 3am and there’s nothing you can do about any craving. Scroll straight to the Recipe.
Bruce and I started watching this show called Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories about a diner in Tokyo that opens from midnight to early morning. It has only 4 items on its menu but you can try ordering anything you want. As long as Master has the ingredients, he will make it for you. Each episode has one classic/nostalgic Japanese food item in focus, and a character whose story somehow relates to this food. At the end of each episode, there’s a short and sweet instruction for preparing the dish in focus.
It’s such a simple yet amazing character-driven series that always leaves me feeling pleasant and cheery or thoughtful after each episode. An episode takes less than 30mins. We went through the Netflix Season 1 episodes in no time and it was mildly depressing when we finished it. Then he found 3 more Seasons (not on Netflix) from when the show first started playing in Japan in 2009, original title: Shinya Shokudo.
So one of the episodes from the Season 1 (Shinya Shokudo, 2009) is called Ochazuke.
Ochazuke is one of the most basic Japanese dishes which is rice in a bowl with green tea or dashi broth poured over it. You can add toppings like salmon or tuna.. really any topping you want.
The episode is about these 3 girlfriends who like ochazuke but have different favourite toppings: tarako (salted fish roe), umeboshi (pickled salt plums) and shake (salmon). I’m with salmon girl, for sure.
I made some today. It’s a super easy and quick light meal or snack.
I used these, no idea what they’re called as, usually, I just randomly take stuff from shelves in Japanese groceries to try out.
1 serving fish (fresh, leftover, canned)
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup green tea or
1/2 cup dashi broth (1/2 cup dashi stock, 1 tsp mirin, 1 tsp soysauce)
Ochazuke is a quick & simple comfort food. You can use leftovers or prepare everything fresh. You can use anything from canned tuna to grilled salmon or broiled eel. It’s great for a quick snack or light meal.
1 Rice. Make rice or use leftover rice. Once cooked, place about a cup of steaming hot rice in a bowl.
2You can choose either green tea or dashi broth. If using green tea, just pour it hot over the rice.
3 If using dashi broth, make dashi broth by heating about a cup of hot water and dissolving 1 tsp of dashi powder. Add the mirin and soysauce. Pour about 1/2 cup of this into the rice in the bowl.
4 Add any combination of toppings. Flake your fish of choice over the rice and sprinkle in some nori, and puffed crunchy rice. Use any furikake you want. Just be careful to not use too much or it can get too salty. You can use other things like a different seared fish, or an umeboshi or even canned tuna.. serious!