Ever wanted to make yourself a cup of tea, but simultaneously craved soup?

It seems that the Japanese have ran into this conundrum quite frequently, inspiring them to invent a dish known as chazuke.

chazukeI first heard of chazuke from a chef friend a while back, when he mentioned that he never dumped his tea, even if he’d forgotten about it and it’d gone cold and stale, so he could use it to make this dish.

Chazuke is a relatively simple Japanese dish made by pouring green tea over cooked rice roughly in the same proportion as you’d pour milk over cereal, and usually with several other goodies mixed in.

Common add-ins include tsukemono, umeboshi (both types of pickles), nori (seaweed), furikake (a Japanese seasoning),  tarako (salted Alaska pollock roe) and mentaiko (marinated roe), salted salmon, shiokara (pickled seafood) and wasabi.

So the next time you are faced with this heart-wrenching dilemma, think chazuke – you can have your tea and eat soup too!

By the way, an interesting fact about chazuke: if you are ever in Kyoto, and your host asks if you want to eat chazuke …it really means that the person thinks that you have overstayed your welcome and are politely being asked to leave.