Salmon Ochazuke (Green Tea Over Rice)

Difficulty Easy

Make the ultimate comfort food: Salmon Ochazuke! A simple and quick 10-minute meal with steamed rice, omega-3-rich salmon, and fragrant green tea. With a generous sprinkle of furikake on top, it’s easy to make and so delicious. A dab of wasabi completes the meal. Easy Japanese comfort food at its best!

What is Salmon Ochazuke?

Salmon Ochazuke is a comforting Japanese dish of steamed rice and salmon steeped in green tea broth. A simple recipe that’s healthy and flavorful. Easy to digest and put together, it’s also pure comfort food.

In Japanese cuisine, Ochazuke is typically served as an easy breakfast, light lunch, or anytime snack. Sometimes, it’s also the conclusion that signals the end of dinner. An easy way to enjoy the last grains of rice at the table — simply pour hot green tea over the remaining rice in your rice bowl.

A variety of toppings are often added to the tea-infused rice. For Salmon Ochazuke, a generous helping of Japanese salted salmon is added. To make things easier, I use regular salmon that’s been seasoned with salt and pepper and pan-fried.

Other toppings: nori, rice crackers, furikake, green onion, and even umeboshi plum or pollock roe. The possibilities are endless!

My kids love to eat Ochazuke as an after-school or late-night snack. A quick and easy meal that can be thrown together quickly. Similar to how Koreans enjoy Barley Tea over Rice or Guk Bap (Soup Rice), there’s something so comforting and easy about this rice dish!

The satisfying texture of rice combined with fragrant green tea makes for a nourishing meal that’s healthy and flavorful. Enjoy this simple recipe and comforting dish!

Ingredients:

  • Green Tea. Hot, freshly brewed green tea will make Ochazuke shine. For ease and convenience, use tea bags. Either Sencha, Genmaicha, or Hojicha green tea varieties are nice. I also like Korean tea bags, which are often mixed with brown rice. For a non-caffeinated tea, choose Korean barley tea or brown rice tea. Or swap with Dashi Japanese soup stock for a more savory, umami option. Even chicken or vegetable stock is an excellent addition.
  • Rice. Steamed white rice offers maximum comfort. I recommend short-grain or medium-grain rice. Popular brands I recommend Botan Calrose, Kokuho, Shirakiku, Sekka, or Nishiki. Jasmine rice also works well.
  • Chazuke Seasoning Packet. *Optional but recommended. These little packets contain all the seasoning needed to flavor your Ochazuke. They come in different flavors and are filled with instant dashi powder, instant green tea powder, nori, and round rice crackers. Although they are optional, they make this dish especially easy, fast, and convenient. Look for instant Ochazuke packets at the Asian grocery store. If you can’t find them, use soy sauce to flavor the broth instead.

Ochazuke Toppings. In its simplest form, Ochazuke can be enjoyed plain with only rice and tea broth. To add variety, other toppings can be added. Mix and match to your liking and change it up often — that’s what I do!

  • Salmon. In Japan, salted salmon is used for this dish. To make it more accessible, I recommend regular salmon. Season with salt and pepper and pan-fry until browned and crisp. I like both salmon steak and salmon fillet. Salmon fillet is more accessible with less bones but salmon steak is cheaper with more flavorful, tender salmon. Using leftover cooked salmon makes it even faster and easier.
  • Nori or Furikake. Seaweed adds an earthy, deep flavor. Cut or crush nori. Or, add a sprinkle of furikake.
  • Japanese Rice Crackers. Crunchy Japanese rice crackers are optional but a nice touch. They soak up the green tea broth delightfully. Bubu Arare are tiny and round, mimicking rice grains. But any kind of Japanese rice crackers will work. Break them into smaller pieces with your hands.
  • Wasabi. Spicy Japanese mustard. Even a small amount adds flavor and depth. Look for it in a tube at the Asian market. Or save wasabi packets from your next take-out order.
  • Sesame seeds. Adds nutty texture and flavor.
  • Green onions. Aromatic with light onion flavor.
  • Soy Sauce. A small spoonful adds flavor and salty umami. *Do not add if using the chazuke seasoning packets from the Asian grocery store.

More Topping Ideas:

  • Pollock Roe or Salmon Roe. Pollock roe, also known as mentaiko, is salty and rich and comes in a thin casing that holds all the eggs together. Salmon roe are big, red bubbles. Enjoy either raw or gently cooked in the green tea broth.
  • Sashimi. Thin slices of sea bass or other sashimi are also a common addition.
  • Umeboshi Plums. Salted Japanese plums add an appealing kick of salty, tangy, umami flavor.
  • Shiso or Perilla Leaves. Adds earthy, aromatic flavor.

Instructions:

  1. Cook Salmon. Season salmon generously with salt and pepper. Cook on both sides until nicely browned and the fish flakes away easily. Make sure not to overcook.
  2. Assemble. In a medium bowl, add freshly steamed white rice. *If using, add one packet of chazuke seasoning.* Add the flaked salmon on top. Add a few sprinkles of furikake and the chopped green onion. Break apart the rice crackers with your hands and sprinkle them all over. Add a small bit of wasabi, right on top.
  3. Make green tea. Add a tea bag to a measuring cup. Heat water to boiling. Add 1 cup of hot water to the tea bag and steep for 4-5 minutes. Make sure to read the package directions, as water temperature and steeping time will vary depending on the kind that’s used.
  4. Add green tea. Add freshly brewed green tea directly to the bowl, until the rice is almost completely submerged with liquid. Add more or less, to your liking.
  5. Serve. Eat immediately and enjoy.

Watch how to make it:

PRO Tips:

  • Don’t disturb salmon while it cooks. To achieve that flavorful, crispy browning, do not touch or disturb the salmon while it cooks.
  • Don’t steep the tea for too long! Green tea leaves are delicate and can become bitter and acidic when steeped long. Sencha tea leaves are especially prone to tasting bitter when brewed long.
  • Serve tea cold or room temperature. When the weather is hot, Ochazuke can also be enjoyed cold or room temperature. Make cold brew green tea for a refreshing summer ochazuke.
  • Cook salmon in advance. To make it even more accessible and quick, cook the salmon in advance. I often cook two salmon steaks on Sunday and store in the fridge all week long — already prepped, flaked, and deboned.

Health benefits:

According to the National Library of Medicine, the benefits of Green Tea are many. Green tea is full of antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties. Regular consumption can strengthen the immune system and fight against cold and flu viruses.

In Japan, Ochazuke is largely regarded as an easy-to-digest health food. It’s a remedy for indigestion, colds, heartburn, and generally feeling under the weather.

Overall, it’s a dish that contains lots of nutrients. Green tea is anti-inflammatory, salmon adds protein and good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids, umeboshi plums contain anti-oxidants, and nori is rich in essential minerals.

Variations:

  • Yaki Onigiri. Swap the steamed rice with a grilled rice ball. Shape rice into a triangle, brush with soy sauce, and grill until lightly browned. Adds a different flavor and texture.

Regional differences in Japan contribute to other popular variations:

  • Shizuoka. A region in Japan that famously serves Ochazuke topped with grilled eel. Look for pre-seasoned eel at the Asian grocery store. Simply broil and add in place of the salmon.
  • Kyoto. A bustling city in Japan that often serves Ochazuke (called Bubuzuke) with homemade pickles or salted kelp.

FAQ:

What’s the difference between Sencha, Genmaicha, and Hojicha?

Sencha, Genmaicha, and Hojicha are all different kinds of Japanese green tea. Depending on how the leaves are processed, there are distinct differences in aroma, flavor, and caffeine levels.

  • Sencha. The most common popular green tea in Japan. Contains green tea leaves that are steamed and rolled. Contains the most caffeine with a bright green hue.
  • Genmaicha. Combines green tea leaves with roasted, popped brown rice, about a 50-50 ratio. Low caffeine with a toasted, savory aroma.
  • Hojicha. Green tea leaves that are roasted. Low caffeine with a nutty aroma.
How much caffeine does the Green tea broth contain?

On average, green tea contains up to 30-40mg of caffeine per 8 ounces. For comparison, black coffee contains about 96 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces. The recommended daily amount for caffeine is 400 mg but it also depends on personal preference and sensitivity.

Can I make this without caffeine?

Yes, Ochakazu can be made without caffeine. Swap out the green tea with dashi broth, brown rice tea, or barley tea. Or, use decaf green tea.

More easy Japanese recipes:

More salmon recipes:

side profile view of ochazuke

Salmon Ochazuke (Green Tea Over Rice)

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
Make the ultimate comfort food: Salmon Ochazuke! A simple yet elegant meal with steamed rice, omega-3-rich salmon, and fragrant green tea. With a generous sprinkle of furikake on top, it's easy to make and so delicious. A dab of wasabi completes the meal. Easy Japanese comfort food at its best!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 1
Calories 486 kcal

Equipment

  • Skillet
  • Measuring cup or teapot

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 cup steamed rice
  • 1/2 lb salmon steak or fillet
  • 1 green tea bag *sencha, genmaicha, or hojicha preferred
  • 1 cup hot boiling water

Additional Toppings:

  • 1 packet chazuke seasoning *contain instant dashi, green tea powder, nori, and japanese rice crackers
  • 1 tsp soy sauce *do not add if using chazuke seasoning packet
  • 1-2 tsp furikake
  • 1/2 tsp wasabi
  • 1 green onion finely minced
  • 2-3 Japanese rice crackers *optional

More topping ideas:

  • 1 umeboshi plum

Instructions
 

  • Cook Salmon. Season salmon generously with salt and pepper. For salmon steak, heat a skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot but not smoking, add 1 tsp oil. Add the salmon and cook until browned and crispy. Cook 4-5 minutes per side until browned and cooked through. It should flake away easily. Do not overcook!
  • For salmon fillet, broil in the oven for 6-8 minutes until cooked through with little charred spots here and there. It should flake away easily.
  • NOTE: Don't disturb salmon while it cooks. To achieve that flavorful, crispy browning, make sure not to touch or disturb the salmon while it cooks.
  • Flake Salmon. Flake salmon into bite-sized pieces, being careful to remove the bones and the skin.
  • Assemble. In a medium bowl, add freshly steamed white rice. *If using, add one packet of chazuke seasoning. Add the flaked salmon on top. Add a few sprinkles of furikake and the chopped green onion. Break apart the rice crackers with your hands and sprinkle them all over. Add a small bit of wasabi, right on top.
  • *If not using chazuke instant packets, season with soy sauce.
  • Make green tea broth. Add a tea bag to a measuring cup. Heat water to boiling. Add 1 cup of hot water to the tea bag and steep for 4-5 minutes. Make sure to read the package directions for the tea, as water temperature and steeping time will vary depending on the kind that's used.
  • Add green tea. Add freshly brewed green tea directly to the bowl, until the rice is halfway submerged with liquid. Add more or less, to your liking.
  • Serve. Eat immediately and enjoy.

Video

Notes

    • Do not steep the tea for too long! Green tea leaves are delicate and can become bitter and acidic when steeped long. Sencha tea leaves are especially prone to tasting bitter when brewed for too long.
    • Serve tea cold or room temperature. When the weather is hot, Ochazuke can also be enjoyed cold or room temperature. Make cold brew green tea for a refreshing summer ochazuke.
    • Cook salmon in advance. To make it even more accessible and quick, cook the salmon in advance. I often cook two salmon steaks on Sunday and store in the fridge all week long — already prepped, flaked, and deboned.
 
Variations:
  • Yaki Onigiri. Swap the steamed rice with a grilled rice ball. Shape rice into a triangle, brush with soy sauce, and grill until lightly browned. 
  • Grilled Eel. Look for pre-seasoned eel at the Asian grocery store. Broil and add in place of the salmon.

Nutrition

Calories: 486kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 49gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 441mgPotassium: 1222mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.5gVitamin A: 467IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Ochazuke, Salmon
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15 minutes, All Recipes, Asian, Featured, Rice, Seafood, Snacks, Soup, Weeknight Meals

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