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Bento 65: Ochazuke

August 24, 2010

A couple of years ago, whilst I was in Sydney, I walked into an extremely busy Japanese restaurant (because that’s what you do when you see a really busy restaurant) . Having no idea what they serve, I went for the most obscure item (well, to me at least) on the menu, ochazuke. I have no clue what was I expecting to be served, but my dinner was served with a TEAPOT. I didn’t quite know what to make of it. Hm. A bowl of rice with some bits in, and a teapot. Was I supposed to drink the tea in the teapot in a cup? Was I not? I looked around and waited, and apparently you were supposed to pour the tea INTO the bowl of rice. Oh. Hm. I see.

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To be honest, it was quite tasty. Plain and simple, but very tasty. Like jook, congee ect. I like it. It reminds me of comfort food of soupy rice with salty side dishes. The weather had turned again suddenly, and it seems closer to fall rather than summer now. Grey skies, rainy weather..the lot. No more soba for me – its time for something warming instead. You can get ochazuke packets in Japanese grocery stores, or make it yourself. Ochazuke basically is a dish of green tea over rice, you can add different bits like grilled salmon , katsuoboshi, some nori ect on it. You can use any type of green tea, with each type imparting a subtle taste difference on the dish.

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Thought it might be time for me to do something adult like after my spate of cute bentos:). It is speedy and very simple as well, only taking about 10 mins including boiling aburaage time. I copped out and used the packaged ochazuke mix, which contains some flavourings as well as it’s ‘sake-flavoured’. I shaped my frozen cherry-colored rice (can you see bits of cherry still in it?) into an onigiri, parboiled some sliced aburaage, chinese fishcakes and sliced takuwan – all on a bed of fresh spinach. I’ll mix my ochazuke pack with some hot water to turn into tea before tipping it all in my tiffin.

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And oh, did you see what I’m having for dessert? It’s a doughnut peach! I love the cute flat slightly squished shape, which makes it perfect for bentos as well.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2010 9:23 pm

    Nice use for your beautiful tiffin!

    • August 24, 2010 9:26 pm

      thanks Sheri – I’m trying to hold myself back from buying another tiffin….it’s hard work!!!

  2. August 24, 2010 9:30 pm

    A lovely idea, one I will use when our weather turns brisk. Your inspiration will be perfect for our Seattle climate.

    Pretty too!

    • August 24, 2010 9:48 pm

      Thanks Debra! It’s probably nicer in Seattle compared to the UK, we probably have the same amount of rain !

  3. August 25, 2010 9:53 am

    Simple and quick but yet very mouthwatering. Love it Mils!

    • August 25, 2010 10:38 am

      Thanks Lia! ‘Bubur’ is not really portable unless you have a Mr. Bento, but with ochazuke I only need access to hot water, which helps alot!

      not really suitable for children I’m afraid!

  4. Stephanie permalink
    September 7, 2010 2:08 pm

    Hi

  5. September 7, 2010 2:46 pm

    Wow, that looks absolutely delicious! I’ve always wanted to try one of those doughnut peaches! Does it taste any different?

    • September 7, 2010 5:50 pm

      Thanks Megg – I think the taste is slighly more subtle – but that may be due to the type of peaches I get here. It was white-fleshed, and pretty sweet. I love the look of it :)

      • September 9, 2010 10:15 pm

        They ARE very cool looking! Thanks for the inside info! ^_^ I’ll definitely give ‘em a try if I come across them!

      • September 10, 2010 1:32 pm

        Hi Megg

        Alternatively you can use freshly brewed green tea and some crumbled rice crackers; if you add other stuff to your ochazuke, this should flavour it – or alternatively dump in some furikake!

  6. Kim-Mari permalink
    September 21, 2010 6:38 am

    I love those peaches – cute & sweet! I can’t remember what our fruitier called them but it was a different name that ‘doughnut’.
    I have been wanting to try this style of bento for a while now, but we’re getting into warmer weather now down here. Perhaps I shall try one in Autumn!

    • September 21, 2010 9:16 am

      Hi Kim-Mari

      I think these peaches were actually called flat peaches as well, but I read somewhere that they were called donut peaches and I just couldn’t stop calling them that!

      It’s most definately autumn weather here now, so I think it might be time for another ochazuke very near in the future ^_^

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