Japanese Cooking Blog with Asako Nonaka #8
Asako Nonaka ◆ July 18, 2015
It is unbearably hot in Japan! The maximum temperature is around 95°F these days and the strong sunshine burns my skin. Once I stopped walking, my body was dripping with tons of sweat. It’s hard to be outside for a long time.
In this situation, some people may be too tired to have any appetite. For me, (sadly) I don’t have such a feeling and I can’t stop my desire to eat delicious food. But it would be great if we can eat delicious food that helps the body cool down and promotes our appetite.
This time, I am going to introduce “chazuke”. Cha means tea and zuke means submerge. So do you know what is submerged in tea? Rice is. Chazuke is a simple Japanese dish made by pouring green tea. The soup is not only green tea, but also hot water, and dashi (the broth of bonito and kelp). Usually the soup is hot but you can have it cold as well. Common toppings are tsukemono (Japanese pickles), umeboshi (picked plum), tsukudani (food boiled in soy sauce), nori (seaweed) and grilled fish but there is no special rule so you can add anything. If there is rice, some dishes and hot water, you can eat chazuke anytime.
It’s not clear when Japanese people started eating chazuke. It is guessed that it has been the custom since such a long time ago because rice is the staple food for Japanese. According to one theory, around 1600 years ago a man ate rice with water poured on top before going to fight so chazuke might have been eaten since around that time.
Nowadays, chazuke is standard as a dish when people don’t have an appetite or the final dish after drinking alcohol.
The recipe of chazuke I am introducing this time is colorful, savory, and cool using potherbs and grilled fish.
Ingredients (Serves 4 people)
1 bunch of green onions
10 perilla leaves
Myoga (Japanese ginger)
2 fish fillets (salmon, Hokke fish, red snapper, tuna and so on.)
3 cups of dashi
2 cups of rice
2 and 1/2 cups of water (for rice cooking)
1. Make dashi and keep it in the fridge. (Please check here how to make dashi.)
2. Cook the rice.
3. Grill the fish.
4. Cut the eggplant into bite-sizes. Boil it lightly and drain.
5. Cut the green onion, myoga and perilla into small pieces.
6. Flake the fish into bite-sizes.
7. Put the rice in a bowl. Then add the eggplant, myoga, perilla, fish flakes, green onion, and white sesame on the rice.
8. Pour cold dashi on the rice.
9. Add a little soy sauce if you want.
How is it? Looks delicious, doesn’t it?
These vegetables help cool the body down, promote the appetite and detoxify the body. So it is good for summer weariness.
You can use the leftovers in your house and change the recipe. Please feel free to try!