The first time I had chazuke, I hated it (lol). I had it in the States and the restaurant used hot water over the rice, which is how the dish was originally served when it was created. I thought it was so bland. However, I tried it again the first time I traveled to Japan and it changed my mind. This version used a combination of tea and dashi and redeemed the entire dish. I was convinced only Japan served a decent chazuke.
Then Stonemill Matcha opened in the Mission. If you haven’t heard of this place, it’s a cafe dedicated to serving top quality matcha. They serve delicious matcha-centric pastries, matcha variations of teas and lattes, and delicious savory Japanese cafe foods, including an amazing matchazuke. Their version of this dish includes rice, salmon, nori, chicken dashi, and matcha. It’s super delicious; full of flavor from the dashi and match, healthy, and so filling. And then, Minimal Matcha sent me some of their amazing Sunday matcha. The Sunday matcha is bright and toasty, a perfect flavor profile to stand up against the umami of a dashi. So I knew I had to make my own version of matchazuke.
Chazuke is a very simple Japanese dish that was eaten during the Heian period (794AD-1195) and is still eaten today. The exact origins are unknown, but this dish was originally called “yuzuke” where hot water was poured over rice. The dish may have evolved to include dashi and tea as it was recorded as a dish served during a formal banquet. It is also rumored that chazuke was created to be an “instant version” of naracha, a rice porridge dish made by cooking tea with rice, potatoes, or chestnuts. Today, chazuke is usually a meal eaten at home and is a popular dish to use leftover rice. Toppings may vary from salmon, unagi, grilled mackerel, or just simply topped with pickled vegetables.
I ended up pulling out more appliances for this dish than I had anticipated. My version of matchazuke involves sous-vide salmon that is seared right before serving. I like to sous-vide salmon as I feel it’s a type of fish that shouldn’t be overcooked. Then I also air fried the fish skins to act as a topping. This is totally optional, but I figured why not since I skinned the filets and the extra crunch from the skins add another level of texture to the dish. Finally, I used two types of toppings. Furikake is one of my favorite rice toppings as it adds a saltiness to the rice. I also add wakame chazuke. Typically, I feel wakame chazuke is too hard to add to rice alone. But the wakame bits are softened by the hot matcha dashi broth and the little puffed rice bits are just delicious.
I was lazy making this recipe and used powdered dashi. I have no shame in that. Some of the powdered dashi out there is really amazing and perfect to use when you need to put something together quickly. But, if you want to make your own dashi, Bon Appetit has a fool-proof recipe.
Matchazuke with Sous-Vide Salmon
- Cooked rice (I made mine with brown rice, but any cooked rice will work. Even leftover!)
- Sous-Vide Salmon
- 2 salmon filets
- Matcha Dashi
- 2 cups water
- Dashi powder (follow instructions depending on brand)
- 2 teaspoons Minimal Matcha Sunday Matcha
- Topping Ideas
- Fried salmon fish skin
- Wakame Chazuke
- Step 1 Prep salmon filets by removing pin bones and de-skinning. Salt and pepper filets and place into sous-vide bags. Cook at 115F for 45M.
- Step 2 Remove fish from bags and sear on medium high on a non-stick pan for about 2 minutes on each side.
- Step 3 In a medium sized sauce pan, bring two cups of water to a boil and add dashi powder. Taste and ensure dashi is flavorful and remove from heat.
- Step 4 Sift matcha powder into dashi and whisk until incorporated.
- Step 5 Place warm rice into a bowl and place salmon filet on top.
- Step 6 Add desired toppings and pour half the matcha dashi into the bowl.