Bon Appétea: Ochazuke (Japanese Steeped Rice)

ochazuke

A tea-infused meal you can make at home with leftover ingredients? You got that right. Ochazuke will make for a light and well-balanced comfort food during inclement weather. Just choose your green tea of choice – genmaicha, unro, or hojicha – to pour over your steamy sushi rice and layer whatever proteins and greens you can find in your kitchen.


Ingredients

2 cups warm sushi rice, divided

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons neutral oil

1/4 cup white soy sauce or 3 tablespoons regular soy sauce

4 large eggs

10 ounces mature spinach, trimmed

1/2 cup green tea, such as hojicha, genmaicha, or unro. We recommend Hachimanjyu’s first flush organic green tea (click to shop)

6 scallions, dark-green parts only, very thinly sliced crosswise

Pickled ginger, furikake seasoning or toasted sesame seeds, and shredded toasted nori (for serving)


Instructions

 

Scoop 1/2 cup rice onto a clean surface. Dampen your hands in a small bowl of salted water (this will prevent the rice from sticking to them and season them slightly). Firmly compress rice into a tight ball, then press down on surface to gently flatten to a 2½–3″ round. Repeat with remaining rice to form 4 rice cakes. 

Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high. Brush one side of rice cakes with soy sauce. Cook, soy sauce side down, until edges are golden brown and crisp, 5–6 minutes. Brush tops of rice cakes with soy sauce. Turn and cook remaining side until golden brown and crisp, another 5–6 minutes. Remove from heat. 

Meanwhile, pour water into a large saucepan to a depth of 2″. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat so water is at a gentle simmer. Crack an egg into a small bowl, then gently slide egg into simmering water. Repeat with remaining eggs, waiting until whites of eggs in water are opaque before adding the next (about 30 seconds apart). Poach, shaping with a slotted spoon if needed, until whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer eggs to paper towels as they are done. 

Add spinach to saucepan and cook until just wilted, 20–30 seconds. Drain; let cool slightly, then squeeze out excess water with your hands.

Heat 3 cups water in a small saucepan over high until right when water starts to steam (an instant-read thermometer will register 172°). Add tea and let steep 2 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl; discard solids. Stir in remaining ¼ cup soy sauce. 

Divide rice cakes, spinach, and eggs among bowls. Pour tea mixture over, then top with scallions, pickled ginger, furikake, and nori. 

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