Why not make a bowl of Ochazuke rice with seaweed tea?
The other day, my family got a package of seaweed tea base from our relative. I think the seaweed tea most familiar to us Japanese is “Kombu-Cha (こんぶ茶)” made from seasoned edible kelp powder.
Mekabu Seaweed Tea
But what my family received this time was this seasoned Mekabu seaweed for “Mekabu-Cha (めかぶ茶 : Mekabu Tea)”. Actually, this was the first time I tried Mekabu seaweed tea.
With these dark green pieces of dried Mekabu seaweed, you can easily make tasty tea like a Dashi-rich soup.
From the photo, you may wonder what the white stuff on the surface is. Although the seaweed, Mekabu itself has lots of umami, together with plenty of minerals and dietary fibers, the flavor of Mekabu-Cha mostly comes from the white coating.
According to the ingredient list, the base of this Mekabu-Cha consists of Mekabu seaweed (wakame), roasted salt, Ume plum flesh, salt, Shiso (perilla) liquid, Ume vinegar, milk sugar, fermented seasoning, and amino acid.
How to Make Mekabu-Cha
How to make Mekabu-Cha from these seaweed bits is really easy: First put a few pieces in a small tea cup, then pour boiling water.
After letting the seaweed sit for about 1 minute, you can enjoy the Mekabu tea. The seaweed tea is delicious with full of umami and a hint of Ume flavor.
Of course, you can also enjoy the green seaweed itself, which is soft, a little smily with a pleasant crunchiness.
How to Make Ochazuke with Japanese Seaweed Tea
“Ochazuke (お茶漬け)” is the Japanese rice bowl dish that consists of steamed plain rice entirely soaked in green tea or soup. Japanese usually enjoy the rice soup with salty toppings like Umeboshi plums or grilled salmon flakes.
Actually, we sometimes make the Ochazuke rice soup with the seasoned seaweed for making tea such as the above Mekabu and the kelp powder for Kombu-Cha.
This is because the Japanese seaweed tea tastes like a delicious Dashi-rich soup. Place some base seaweed on steamed plain rice and pour boiling hot water into the bowl.
Add some toppings to your preference, and enjoy the Ochazuke rice soup! By the way, this time I added a piece of Umeboshi plum to the rice as the seasoned Mekabu has a subtle Ume flavor.
Many kinds of Japanese seaweed tea are similar in taste, so even if you couldn’t obtain the seasoned Mekabu seaweed for Mekabu-Cha, you can make a similar Ochazuke rice bowl with the kelp powder for Kombu-Cha.