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Chazuke topped with unagi, nori and mitsuba
Alternative namesochazuke, cha-cha gohan, bubuzuke
Place of originJapan
Main ingredientsrice, green tea or dashi
Variationsinstant ochazuke

Chazuke (茶漬け, ちゃづけ) or ochazuke (, from (o)cha 'tea' + tsuke 'submerge') is a simple Japanese dish made by pouring green tea,[1] dashi, or hot water over cooked rice.[2] Chazuke provides a way to use leftover rice as a quick snack because it is easy to make. In Kyoto, ochazuke is known as bubuzuke.[3] Since the 1970s, packaged "instant ochazuke", consisting of freeze-dried toppings and seasonings, has become popular.

Common toppings include tsukemono (Japanese pickles), umeboshi, nori (seaweed), furikake, sesame seeds, tarako and mentaiko (salted and marinated pollock roe), salted salmon, shiokara (pickled seafood), scallions, and wasabi.[1]


Chazuke with teapot and garnishes

This dish first became popular in the Heian period of Japan, when water was most commonly poured over rice,[4] but beginning in the Edo period, tea was often used instead.[5][6]

It is said that the direct ancestor of today's chazuke is a method of eating that was adopted by servants (apprentices) who were employed by merchants at that time so that they could finish their meal very quickly during their work. At that time, the servants spent most of their day working, and their meal times were controlled by their superiors, so this form of eating naturally arose. Pickles were almost the only side dish that the apprentices were allowed to eat freely in the simple meals, and they were often piled up in huge bowls. It is speculated that this was also closely related to the establishment of the food form of chazuke. Since there was still no technology to keep cooked rice warm as it is today, chazuke was a convenient way to enjoy cold rice and to finish a meal quickly. It was very useful and popular.

Chazuke with salted plum (ume)

The beginning of chazuke is said to be after the middle of the Edo period, when bancha and green tea became popular and tea became established as a luxury item of the common people. Sencha contains a little monosodium glutamate (umami ingredient), and combined with the unique aroma of sencha tea, it is more delicious than white rice sprinkled with hot water. However, among the common people, it was common to put bancha on.

In addition, from the Genroku period, "chazukeya" appeared as a restaurant serving chazuke, and it was widely popular as fast food for the common people. In the Edo Famous Places Picture Society, published in the late Edo period, "SignboardChazuke can be seen as "Edo Masu" and "Edo Masu, which is also served by customers", and in Edo, "88" with 64 sentences is written on the sign of the chazuke shop, and it can be seen that it was prosperous as it was commonly called 88 chazuke. However, the chazuke restaurant was positioned as a place to have a simple meal, and not only chazuke was served. Among the photographs of the early opening of Japan (late Edo period) on permanent display at the Yokohama Museum of Art, Mishima-juku records the crowding of chazuke shops on the highway. The clerks, customers, and passers-by of the tea shop in this photo are all looking at the camera with surprised faces. This was during the Ansei years before the Meiji Restoration, shortly after the opening of the country, and it must have been very rare for foreign photographers with large photographic machines. However, from the impression that it stopped at this time, you can also see the appearance of the chazuke shop at that time, such as the way customers sit at the eaves of the chazuke shop and glance at us, the landlady stopping with a tray, and various notations such as "chazukeya" and "chazuke" depending on the shop.

Instant Chazuke[edit]

Nagatanien proposed the concept of "brewed tea rice" in 1952 and launched "Chazuo Seaweed". This product is a small package containing matcha.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Seductions of Rice – Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid. p. 213.
  2. ^ Dining Guide to Japan: Find the Right Restaurant, Order the Right Dish, and Pay the Right Price – Boye Lafayette De Mente. pp. 104–105.
  3. ^ "Travel Info Bubuzuke". Machiya Residence Inn Kyoto. 2016. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  4. ^ Tale of Genji 21, 27, 47, 51, 54; Pillow Book 186: "If a man that's so drunk can't help staying overnight with me, I won't serve him even a hot water rice."
  5. ^ Morisada Mankoh (Ch.4) attributes the origin of tea-rice to Edo during Meireki years, which became popular in Kansai area during Genroku.
  6. ^ "OCHAZUKE". 26 September 2015. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2016.