FOOD GUIDE: Chazuke (茶漬け, ちゃづけ)

Chazuke (茶漬け, ちゃづけ) is what you get when you add a little spark to your boring leftover bowl of rice. Your simple rice can become utterly tasty if you pour some green tea, Oolong tea, dashi broth or even plain hot water on it.

Top it off with pickled vegetables (tsukemono) or fruits (umeboshi), dry seasoning of furikake, crunchy sesame seeds, seaweed (nori), pickled seafood (tarako, mentaiko) or wasabi. A more refined and classy version maybe served in a restaurant with freshly chopped vegetables and cooked tuna.

In some locations, they have their own preferred ingredients. Salmon is favored in Hokkaido. Just be a little careful when someone offers this dish to you in Kyoto. It’s a part of their culture and a polite signal for a guest to take their leave when the stay has lasted more than the expected time.