Sardine Ochazuke

March  1, 2012
2 Ratings
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

  • Serves 1
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.

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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.