Next up on my healthy cooking hit parade is Chazuke, at times called Ochazuke. It’s usually thought of as Japanese comfort food or quick food, but stick with me here.
Anyway, Chazuke really started as something simple in Japan – green tea poured over rice. Sort of a simple porridge. Over time people added seaweed and condiments like pickles or dried meat, making it a kind of healthy comfort meal and quick-to-assemble out of common ingredients. In some cases it was also something you served to guests to note they kinda overstayed their welcome.
However when I heard of Chazuke my brain began to analyze it. It uses rice. It uses tea. It at times adds veggies and proteins. I began breaking down the recipe into something healthy, and quickly I found a new favorite quick dish. My Chazuke formula lets you make something healthy, delicious, and nutritious fast. It works like this.
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups green tea (I use regular American green tea for less caffeine).
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (traditionally white, I use brown), or another grain
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups of a vegetarian protein (I use tofu, seitan, or garbanzo beans)
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups of a vegetable that has been cooked/prepared. I usually use steamed broccoli, collards, or spinach (note measure the cups after its prepared), but as pickled vegetables were traditional you could also try sauerkraut or low-sodium pickled vegetables (again, broccoli or cabbage is excellent).
Merely mix all of these together. Now to jazz it up, try any or all of these in combination:
- Roast, crumbled seaweed (Always good)
- 1 Tbsp Soy sauce (also good)
- About 1/4 cup kimchi
- About 1-2 tbsp pickled ginger
- 1 tsp Gojachung (Korean Hot Pepper paste)
My personal favorites are to use garbanzo beans (that go well with the tea), steamed collards OR pickled broccoli. I usually spiced it with soy sauce, but lately have been trying Gojachung with a bit of soy sauce and/or Kimchi – usually 2 tsp soy sauce and 1 tsp Gojachung OR 1/4 cup kimchi.
Take the above meal, add a nice piece of fruit for desert, maybe an additional veggie side dish (like sweet cherry tomatoes), and you created a kind of healthy onslaught – legumes, greens, whole grains and then some fruit. All made from stuff you have around the kitchen (well my kitchen) and in the pantry, all delicious, flavored with that unique green tea taste.
I usually make it once a week, and it always satisfies.