Rice with Tea
I recall as a child coming to the United States and discovering that Americans put butter on their rice. I was appalled and sickened. I felt even more disgusted when a friend told me she enjoyed pouring sugar and milk on her rice. (Since then, of course, I have adapted well to Western cuisine and now enjoy hot rice cereal with vanilla soy milk!) But here is a simple way of eating rice beloved by Japanese that has made American jaws drop upon hearing it described-pouring green tea over rice.
Traditionally in Japan, one never puts anything on his rice-no soy sauce, butter, or gravy-with the exception of tea. Served with the proper condiments, ocha-zuke is delicious and a wonderful late night snack with leftover rice. There are many condiments possible, and today even instant ocha-zuke tea-condiment combos are available. (All you add is rice and hot water.) After trying these suggestions, you will not think that tea on rice is such a strange concept.
Per serving in a rice bowl:
Cooked rice, white or brown, preferably warm
Prepared green tea one or more of the following condiments:
Very thin strips of nori
Finely chopped tsuke-mono (Japanese pickled
vegetables-many varieties are available)
Slivered leaves of shiso
Slivered myoga (baby ginger shoots)
Toasted or blackened sesame seeds
Thin strips of cooked konbu from making stock
Sansai (Japanese mountain vegetables,
available in packets or frozen)
Place the condiments on top of the rice, and pour hot green tea to cover. If necessary, add a dash of sea salt.
Contemporary & Traditional
Simple, Delicious, and Vegan
By Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner
Book Publishing Company, July 1999
Paperback, 176 pgs., $12.95
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created September 1999