Executive Chef, Ka-hala Mandarin Oriental, Hawai‘i
Kama with Roasted Eggplant O-chazuke
“I love o-chazuke,” says
Wayne Hirabayashi. “I grew up on it. I can eat it for breakfast lunch and dinner.
After a long day around food, it’s my comfort food.”
O-chazuke is simply
tea-flavored rice. Hot tea poured over rice is eaten with a number of tidbits
such as fish and pickles, soothing the stomach and satisfying the soul.
course, Hirabayashi’s o-chazuke is more than simply tea and rice. The rice is
cooked in fine quality sencha (green leaf) tea, rather than water. Steeped sencha
is an ingredient in a flavored broth poured over the rice, adding depth and dimension
to the o-chazuke. Roasted eggplant, homemade pickles and grilled hamachi kama
(the collar of the oily yellow tail fish, prized for sushi and sashimi) accompany
his version of classic tea and rice.
“It’s healthy because of the tea,”
says Hirabayashi. “You could also do this dish with canned salmon and chopped
green onions or sardines cooked with onions. That’s what I do at home.”
1/2 cups sencha tea rice
2 cups sencha tea broth
1/2 pound roasted eggplant
tablespoons pickled cabbage
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
2 teaspoons minced green
2 teaspoons ume paste
2 teaspoons pickled chiso
4 teaspoons Boo
4 pinches bonito flakes
rice among four rice bowls. Top each bowl with roasted eggplant. Garnish with
pickled cabbage, wasabi, green onion, chiso, ume, arare and bonito flakes. Pour
hot sencha tea broth over rice and serve.
Tea Rice and Broth
4 tablespoons sencha tea
water to a boil and add tea. Let steep for five minutes; strain tea into a container.
cups sencha tea
2 cups sushi rice
the rice on stove top or in rice cooker.
1 cup hon katsuo (bonito flakes)
2-inch piece kombu (kelp)
teaspoon hon dashi (powdered stock base)
2 cups sencha tea
4 teaspoons mirin
(sweet cooking wine)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
water to a boil. Add the hon katsuo, kombu and hon dashi and let steep for five
minutes. Add remaining items. Taste and adjust seasoning.
1/2 pounds Napa cabbage (won bok)
tablespoon hon dashi (powdered stock base)
piece kombu (kelp)
and dry the cabbage. Slice the cabbage into thin shreds and place in a bowl. Add
the salt and hon dashi, mixing well to distribute the salt. Rinse the kombu and
add it to the cabbage mixture, tossing. Let the mixture sit for four to six hours
at room temperature. Squeeze out the liquid, discard the kombu and serve.
Japanese eggplants (about half a pound)
eggplant on a hot grill and sear the skin for four to five minutes or until eggplant
flesh is soft and skin is wrinkled. Remove from grill and cool.
a paring knife, remove the stem end and peel the skin off. Cut into pieces. Refrigerate
until ready to serve. Eggplant should be served warm or at room temperature.
Hamachi Kama with Ponzu Sauce and Asian Slaw
piece hamachi kama (collar)
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 lime, cut into wedges
tablespoons ponzu (a Japanese citrus) concentrate
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sake
2 tablespoons sugar
hon dashi (powdered stock base)
1/8 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/3 cup julienned
1/3 cup julienned carrot
1/3 cup julienned daikon (white radish)
cup julienned green onion
1/3 cup radish sprouts
Napa cabbage thinly.
the hamachi kama on a grill over medium-high heat, searing well and cooking until
ponzu sauce ingredients together.
the Asian slaw, combine soy sauce and grated ginger in a bowl. Add the vegetables
and toss. Place Asian slaw on a serving platter. Top with hamachi. Garnish with
lemon and lime wedges. Divide ponzu sauce among individual dishes for dipping.
you’re using new-crop rice, reduce the amount of cooking water or tea, since fresh
rice has more moisture in it than older rice.
Prepare your rice for o-chazuke on the dry side, since you will be adding tea
If you cook the rice in a regular saucepan instead of a rice cooker, burn the
bottom a little for added roasted flavor.
For the tsukemono, use table salt. It is saltier than kosher salt and it melts
For ume paste, remove the seed from the umeboshi and chop up the flesh to make
Fish, pickles and other ingredients for o-chazuke can be found at Daiei, Marukai