Friday, April 24, 2009

Chazuke: making use of yesterday's rice (お茶漬け)

very national cuisine has great ways to deal with yesterday's leftovers. In Italy they top pizza, the British "devil" them, in Japan cold rice is made into a flavourful breakfast called chazuke, or to sound daintier, o-chazuke.

It is a simple dish: pour some green tea into a bowl with cold rice and sprinkle it with a few condiments. Cha stands for "tea" and zuke for "submerged". Kind of makes sense, innit. Depending on the region or individual preferences it can be anything:
  • tsukemono pickles;
  • salted plum umeboshi;
  • nori (seaweed);
  • furikake (savoury rice sprinkle);
  • roasted sesame seeds;
  • tarako (鱈子) (salted cod roe);
  • mentaiko (明太子) (marinated pollock roe);
  • salted salmon;
  • shiokara (pickled seafood);
  • nozawana (野沢菜) vegetable;
  • and, last but not least, wasabi.
However, the Japanese made it even easier: most chazuke these days is instant. That is, all it takes is to open a pack.

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