Sardine Ochazuke (Sardine Sushi)

March  1, 2012
2 Ratings
  • Serves 1
Author Notes

Ochazuke is a simple combination of rice and green tea. It’s a brilliant creation- a terrific savory breakfast or snack and a legendary hangover cure- I was first introduced to it when I lived with a family in Japan more than twenty years ago. Ochazuke is easy to make with leftover rice (white sushi rice is typically used in Japan), and it can be topped with just about anything. Fish, nori seaweed strips, and salty garnishes like pickles are pretty traditional. Brown rice is more nutritious than white, so whenever I’ve got some leftover brown rice from the previous night’s dinner, I make ochazuke. Instead of nori, I generally use wakame seaweed (or sometimes I use both): amazing for you because it’s full of detoxifying minerals. If you don’t have (or don’t want to use the seaweed), you could use some shredded kale (or another dark leafy green). I love the flavor and the anti-oxidant boost of the green tea in ochazuke: give it a try!
Put off by the thought of eating sardines for breakfast? They’re so terrific for you! They’re high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and well as calcium and vitamin D. And they’re inexpensive and sustainable to boot: I love me my sardines. —WinnieAb

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup cooked short-grain brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons dried wakame seaweed rehydrated for a few minutes in 1 1/2 cups of very hot green tea (sencha, hojicha or genmaicha are best; matcha is not generally used for ochazuke, but I've used it when I don't have the others)
  • 1/2 tin water or olive-oil packed sardines, drained (I love the sardines available online from Vital Choice)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • pinch of red pepper flakes or a drizzle of Sriracha or other hot sauce- optional
  1. Place cooked brown rice in serving bowl. Pour the green tea (along with the rehydrated wakame) over the brown rice. Allow to steep for a minute, the stir everything together.
  2. Top the rice/green tea/seaweed with the sardines. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds and add red pepper flakes (or optional hot sauce) before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lloreen
  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • Fairmount_market
  • pulcetta
  • drbabs
I grew up in a restaurant family (my parents owned the now closed Quilted Giraffe in NYC) and I've always loved to cook. My interest in the connection between food and health led me to pursue a graduate degree in naturopathic medicine. I don't practice medicine anymore; I have a blog called Healthy Green Kitchen that I started in May of 2009 and I wrote a book called One Simple Change that will be published in January, 2014. I live in upstate New York with my family and many pets.

11 Reviews

[email protected] March 3, 2021
I would like to use this recipe in my website for chinese food therapy.

I'm happy to put a link to your site to drive more traffic with a message saying for more information on this recipe with a link button under the name of the recipe.


Many Thanks

Paul Lopez AP
Florence L. September 6, 2016
Great and easy recipe! You can get your cold brown rice from the fridge down to perfect eating temperature with the Sencha green tea. Makes for a quick lunch, nutritious an delicious, with very few dishes to clean! Love it!
lloreen March 15, 2012
I had a hard time with fish and pickles for breakfast when I lived in Japan, but this looks delicious and not overwhelmingly fishy for 7am!
LeBec F. March 3, 2012
winnie, since you are so education-oriented, would you tell us about these different green teas? i was not aware of them. I have green tea powder but don't know how it is diff from these others. Are any of them less bitter? Also, have you ever cooked anything with mugicha? I love drinking that, and since it is made from barley, i bet one could do alot of neat savory recipe development using it.
WinnieAb March 5, 2012
Hello! I love cooking with tea, but am not an expert by any means. Powdered green tea powder, though, is made from matcha, and like I say above it's not typical for ochazuke, but can definitely work. I love mugicha and think that would work, too ;)
Fairmount_market March 1, 2012
What an inspiring recipe. A great reason to make some extra brown rice.
LeBec F. March 1, 2012
I love your educational nature! It's so helpful to learn about nutritional features from someone with a good set of tastebuds! Thnx so much. I also love seeing Japanese influenced recipes on 52. 99% of the submissions seem to be Mediterranean- centric. I'm new to 52;and have submitted some Nihonjin recipes this time as well!
pulcetta March 1, 2012
A recipe I'll come back to as I am looking for ways of adding healthy sardines to my dinner.
drbabs March 1, 2012
creamtea March 1, 2012
lastnightsdinner March 1, 2012
I'm *so* glad you posted this - love it!