Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Cooking: Rice Bowl with Seaweed + Green Tea = Perfect Breakfast
I know I've been sounding like a commercial pushing products lately, but I can't hide my enthusiasm when finding something so healthy and delicious. I have to share it with people. I swear I'm not getting a commission.
My latest discovery is wakame chazuke, which combines the two words, wakame, edible seaweed, and chazuke (a.k.a. ochazuke), which is rice in a bowl submerged with either green tea, dashi or hot water topped with some savory toppings.
I've had ochazuke at izakayas before and have liked them. But never have I thought of it as breakfast -- until now. I mean, what healthier and heartier meal is there than brown rice with some dried seaweed and rice balls submerged in green tea?
Ok, it may not sound too appetizing, but trust me. I give it my little twist too. I use brown rice, and add a ton of grains that are super foods such as lentils, red beans, millet and barley. Oatmeal's got nothing on this one, I tell ya. Then I added some of the jangjorim I made separately. Jangjorim is a classic Korean side dish consisting of beef braised for a long time in a liquid of soy sauce, sugar (or agave, in my case), garlic and some peppers.
I scoop rice made the night before (making new rice every time you have this would be a royal pain, so making a big pot of rice to last you the week is wise -- it's been fine in my experience. Alternatively, there's always pre-cooked rice in those little plastic bowls you can nuke), add some of the dried seaweed and rice puffs from the jar onto the rice, pour green tea (ready-made also comes in handy -- thank you, Ito En) so rice is submerged, add sliced jangjorim and microwave for about 1-2 minutes.
If you don't have meat, you can fry an egg and have that as a side dish. The only downside is that you can't have this on the go while you drive or commute to work. But I found that I don't get hungry until closer to 11:30-noon when I have this for breakfast, as opposed to the usual 10:30 pang of hunger.
Traditional Japanese toppings include pickled vegetables, dried or pickled fish, etc.
The seaweed is pretty much like the miyuk in Korean cuisine, except there's no cooking necessary and they're finely shredded. I love me a good miyukguk or seaweed soup to be had on my birthday according to Korean custom, but it is a lot more work than this. I'm hooked.