Ochazuke Bento

Ochazuke Bento, simple but delicious!

ochazuke chazuke bento


Hilary of the JapanCAN(ada)Mix blog reminded me the other day about this very simple, but brilliant dish. And when, on that same day, Nami of Just One Cookbook, posted a recipe for Ochazuke on her blog, I just knew I had to turn it into a Bento!

Ochazuke literally means submerged tea, and it’s a simple Japanese dish made by pouring green tea over cooked rice with various toppings. You can buy ready made packets of toppings at Japanese grocery stores, they come in different flavours and you just need to add hot water instead of tea, but it is very easy to make your own.

Theย first time that I ate this dish, was when my sorority was given a Japanese cookbook by a visiting sorority and we cooked a dinner for them using some of the recipes. I can still remember the stunned faces when I produced a tea pot and started to pour tea over the cooked rice. As I was completely new to the dish myself, I wasn’t at all sure how much tea was needed, or how it was going to taste, but it was surprisingly good.

I am very happy that Hilary and Nami reminded me of this dish, and whilst I have never made it into a Bento before (I usually eat this as an easy quick meal late at night or when I am too lazy to properly cook something), it is actually very suitable for a packed lunch.

Here is my Ochazuke Bento when packed:

ochazuke bento

As you can see, I used my Black + Blum Bento lunchpot. It’s very practical for this kind of lunch because you can use it in the microwave. The larger compartment holds cooked rice. On top of the rice, I placed a small container with some cooked salted salmon and spring onion. The smaller compartment has all the dry ingredients: some nori cut in small strips – I used the Korean flavoured version as this adds some extra flavour to the dish. There are also some sesame seeds, and a pinch of wasabi powder. I kept the rice cracker packed, but next time I think I will pre-crumble it as I had crumbs all over my desk….ย There is also a little bottle of soy sauce and of course green tea! No Ochazuke without tea!!

I packed it up in the morning. When I was ready to eat it, I just took out the salmon container, heated up the rice in the microwave, and put all the toppings on top of the rice. Finally I made the green tea and poured it over the rice ๐Ÿ™‚



18 thoughts on “Ochazuke Bento

  1. Wow! It looks sooo delicious and thank you too for mentioning me and my site! I really do appreciate it. I absolutely love what you do here.
    It’s so neat that you make ochazuke from scratch and turned it into a bento! I’m impressed. I’m going to show hubby and we’ll try your dish. By the way, where do you find good salmon?? And yes! Senbei crumbles all over the place. I guess one idea is to break it up in the packaging and then sprinkle it on top. This depends how hard the senbei is though! I feel like some kinds will break my teeth.
    Oh… and that little duckie-chan for shoyu…. soooo adorable. I want to give it a hug! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • I was surprised how easy it is to turn Ochazuke into a Bento but will now definitely have this more often! Hadn’t eaten it for ages, so your reminder was a good inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

      Most of my fish is bought at the Korean supermarket. I am very lucky that there are 2 relatively nearby, both with a fresh fish counter. Although the quality of the fish in the UK supermarkets isn’t that bad actually.

      My bento accessories stash is growing….have lots of cute little bottles but strangely enough I often forget to pack one in my Bento…

      • Good to hear!

        Yes, I suppose being closer to water helps. ๐Ÿ˜€ Have you tried any other fish in your bentos? We get really good local trout… hubby often mistakes it for salmon. The rest of the salmon we get is frozen, canned or fresh whole on sale, otherwise it’s quite expensive. We have a Korean store near us but they don’t sell fish.

        Where do you get your bento supplies?? I can imagine it’s hard to remember those tiny bottles. I think I mentioned that we always forget something when we are making lazy sushi!

  2. I just find it hard to believe this actually tastes good… Of course it doesn’t help that I tried it once, using a store-bought packet of powder that was past expiration date… O_o

    • Some people use dashi instead of tea.
      It doesn’t have a very strong taste, quite frangrant and subtle. Depends also on what other ingredients you would use.
      I tend to add some wasabi powder to give it a bit of an oomph.

  3. I love the idea of a portable ochazuke. I find it very comforting and calming (Zen, perhaps?) to eat for some reason so seems like the ideal thing to have at your desk!

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