I still have to read the directions on how to brew it properly. I spoon loose-leaf sencha tea into my Japanese tea pot. Then, I stand by the tea kettle to catch the water before it comes to a boil, ideally at 175 degrees F.
It’s only a two-minute steep before I have an earthy and nutty brew to sip while working through the afternoons. I’ve noticed how different I feel after drinking it compared to coffee.
My mind is clear and focused when I’m usually lethargic. How could I incorporate more green tea into my life?, I’ve wondered.
Cooking with Green Tea
Not too long ago, Kiyomi Kioke of Sei Mee Tea emailed me about my creating some savory recipes using her matcha and other high-quality green teas.
When Kiyomi came over to my house, we tasted all kinds of green teas. And we brainstormed all sorts of ideas, from soups to eggs and meat dishes.
And I’ll be revisiting this topic on the Forage blog again in future posts. There is so much to explore!
Green Tea & Rice
One of the Japanese dishes I was curious about is called ochazuke, a Japanese green tea rice bowl.
“Oh yes,” Kiyomi nodded with a smile when I asked her about it. “Ocha means ‘tea’ and zuke means ‘soak,'” she told me. It’s essentially hot green tea poured over rice. And it’s a universal comfort food in Japan.
Ochazuke is a quick meal that’s made from leftover rice and any toppings you have on hand–from leftover meats or fish to seaweed, pickled vegetables, sesame seeds…
I love savory items in the morning, like oatmeal with tamari and grain bowls with spinach and eggs. So it wasn’t a leap to the idea of this as a green tea morning bowl for breakfast.
Kiyomi told me that ochazuke is that is it designed to be very light with a very “clean” taste.
It is very gentle food for a morning when perhaps you feel a need to recharge or reset. It’s good for colds or hangovers, or anytime you need a nourishing snack. And it can be vegetarian or vegan according to your preferences.
Any which way, this is feel good comfort food in a bowl. When you’re eating intuitively, sometimes your body just lets you know it’s time to lighten up.
And did I already say it’s quick?
My Green Tea Morning Rice Bowl
After Kiyomi’s visit, I played around with the ochazuke concept using leftover rice with a variety of Sei Mee Tea teas.
“Green tea is an umami-rich food,” Kiyomi told me. It sure offers a complex flavor that’s hard to identify but feels so good.
There is a whole world of green teas, and my current favorite is genmaicha. The toasted rice with green tea is so springlike and savory.
So, I made genmaicha the basis for this green tea morning bowl recipe. I poured it over a bowl filled with brown rice and topped with nori, scallions, a 7-minute egg and avocado.
Try this the next time you have leftover rice and top it with simple ingredients you find in your fridge and “soak” it all with a cupful of your favorite green tea.
Then, just see how good your body feels.
What’s in your morning bowl to charge up your day? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.
Green Tea Morning Rice Bowl
I love this in the morning when I want something light yet satisfying. Called ochazuke, it’s a comforting dish to eat for a snack or anytime you want quick nourishment in a bowl. To enjoy the flavor of the green tea, it’s best to stick to toppings that are mild in flavor, like egg and avocado. Mix it up with your own favorite rice, tea and toppings.
- 1 (or more, if desired) egg pastured
- 1 cup cooked brown rice short or long grain
- 1 tablespoon crumbed nori
- 1 scallion, very thinly sliced
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
For the green tea:
- 1 cup (8 ounces) hot water (175 F)
- 1 teaspoon genmaicha
For the matcha salt:
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder
Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Gently lower the egg into the water on a spoon and reduce the heat to a gentle boil. Set a timer for 7 minutes for a soft-boiled egg with a jammy center. (Or 30 seconds to 3 minutes longer for more set to hard boiled.) Chill the egg in cold water for a few minutes before peeling.
Portion the rice into a bowl. Top with the nori, scallions and avocado. Add the egg whole or sliced in half.
Meanwhile, prepare the tea by pouring the hot water over the tea. Steep for 2 minutes then strain the tea over the rice bowl.
To prepare the matcha salt, stir the salt and matcha powder together in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the egg and rice. Reserve the matcha salt for future use at room temperature.