Chazuke (茶漬け, ちゃづけ) or o-chazuke (お茶漬け, from o + cha/tea + tsuke/submerge, marinate) is a simple Japanese dish made by pouring green tea, olong tea, dashi, or hot water over cooked rice roughly on its own or accompanied by all kinds of toppings.
It is very popular in izakaya at the end of the meal, or in homes in the evening making use of the rice steamed in the morning.
As Shizuoka is the largest grower of tea and wasabi in Japan, it is a very common way of eating and seasoning leftover rice here!
It is also known as cha-cha gohan.
Common toppings include tsukemono, umeboshi (both types of pickles), nori (seaweed), furikake, sesame seeds, tarako and mentaiko (salted and marinated Alaska pollock roe), salted salmon, shiokara (pickled seafood) and wasabi.
This dish first became popular in the Heian period, when water was most commonly poured over rice, but beginning in the Edo period, tea was often used instead.
In Kyoto, ochazuke is known as bubuzuke. When a Kyoto native asks if a guest wants to eat bubuzuke, it really means that the person has overstayed and is being politely asked to leave.
Since the 1970s packaged “instant ochazuke”, consisting of freeze-dried toppings and seasonings, have become popular.
Chazuke, for all its humble origins can become a fairly sophisticate dish of its own as shown by a few examples below:
In Shizuoka we pour hot green tea over a bowl of rice and broiled eel!
Over Tai/Seabream sashimi!
With salmon, especially in Hokkaido!
Even more sophisiticated with aburi maguro/seared tuna, and chopped fresh vegetables!
With tonkatsu for the big appetites!
With a grilled “musubi” for more rice!