Not like the other well-known dishes from Japan, this one is our personal favorite. It is a very simple dish with a unique taste which might be an adventure to many of our American friends. We LOVE it so why not sharing as love is infectious
Chazuke (茶漬け) or ochazuke (お茶漬け) is a simple Japanese dish made by pouring tea, dashi (dry fish soup base), or hot water over cooked rice. In ancient times, it is a way to enjoy left-over rice rather than waste it. The hot water or tea also warms up the body that makes Chazuke a good dish during cold or rainy weather.
It's definitely not enough to have rice and water or tea alone. Changing the hot liquid to sth. like chicken broth is a way to add richness and flavor. Toppings are the other most important piece of this dish. Common toppings include Japanese pickles, umeboshi (dried plums), nori (seaweed), salted and marinated pollock roe and other seafood or preserved food that people like.
Fun face: in Kyoto, ochazuke is known as bubuzuke. When a Kyoto native asks if a guest wants to eat bubuzuke, it may really mean that the person has overstayed and is being politely asked to leave.
Similar to instant noodles, instant packaged chazuke can be found in Japanese markets these days, too. We actually find savory breakfast porridge is maybe the closest relative of chazuke in the US so try chazuke in a cold morning for you. You might be surprisingly satisfied!