Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ochazuke: rice patties in a green tea broth

Breakfast: A blackberry vega smoothie

Lunch: California salad

Dinner: Ochazuke: rice patties in a green tea broth

It's not often that you can eat out for $4 in these days, but there is, in fact, one place left in the world where you can get a fantastic, filling meal for under a fiver.


This Japanese eatery near OCAD in Toronto is a new favourite of mine, and serves this rice and green tea dish for $3.99. Ochazuke actually refers to any dish with rice and green tea, though a variety of toppings can be added. Manpuku shape their rice patties into triangles and fry them, as I did here, but if you're looking for a slightly easy meal you can forego this step.

You'll need:
(Feeds 2)
1 1/2 cups sushi rice
2 cups water
2 spring onions, thinly chopped
1 cup mushrooms, thinly chopped
1/2 a sheet of nori, sliced thinly
sesame oil
strong sencha green tea
black sesame seeds
chili powder

Bring the sushi rice to the boil in the water, then cover and reduce to a simmer until fully cooked
Allow to cool with the lid still on. The rice should be a little moist rather than dry
Fry the mushrooms in a very small amount of sesame oil for 4 minutes then set aside
Voluntary: Divide the cooked rice into 4 sections and place each section onto a piece of cling film / Saran Wrap
Voluntary: Compact each portion of rice into a tight triangle using the cling film, pressing together as much as possible
Voluntary: Fry a little more seasame oil in the frying pan, heat on high then toss each rice triangle in, browning on each side quickly before placing into a bowl
Cover the rice with the sencha green tea then top with the mushrooms, shredded nori and sesame seeds
Top with a pinch of chili powder and serve, topping up with green tea as necessary

This is a surprisingly satisfying meal that leaves you filled up with a nice balance of taste. Frying the rice takes a little time to perfect, but even without frying this meal is impressive enough to serve to friends and seriously delicious. Give it a try!

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