This is the last recipe in my series of duck-inspired dishes – an interpretation of the Japanese comfort food ochazuke, traditionally made by pouring green tea or dashi over a mound of rice with various toppings such as seaweed, sesame seeds, meats, and eggs. Homemade duck stock is combined with a toasty genmaicha tea for a subtly complex, savory broth. Historically consumed by the working class of Japan, genmaicha is a blend of toasted rice and sencha (Japanese green tea) that carries the same comforting quality of chicken noodle soup. Sencha has a distinct flavor profile that reflects the coastal terroir of Japan and the Japanese technique of steaming the leaves. In contrast to the pan-fried Chinese green teas, it is more vegetal and grassy, tasting almost like seaweed, and pairs exceptionally well with seafood and other savory dishes.
Ochazuke can be garnished with any number of toppings. The only consideration is that ochazuke made entirely with tea is typically topped with a salty garnish to compensate for the blandness of the tea, whereas ochazuke made with dashi can be more flexible. The egg in this recipe is cooked sous vide as it is the easiest method for a firm white and a soft, barely set yolk, but poaching, soft boiling, or even frying are good alternatives. ChefSteps has an excellent time and temperature calculator for cooking a perfect sous vide egg.
Ochazuke is not haute cuisine or even a particularly flavorful dish, but it is simple, humble, and comforting. The spirit of the recipe is tea or broth poured on rice, and any further adaptation is completely up to you.
ochazuke // sous vide egg + genmaicha & duck broth
Makes two bowls
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 1 cup homemade duck or chicken stock*, or store-bought stock
- 1 cup hot, brewed tea (genmaicha, sencha, houjicha, or any other green, oolong, or black tea)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 2 eggs
- 2-3 scallions, chopped
If making genmaicha, brew 1 heaping tbsp of loose leaf tea in 1 cup of 160 – 170F water. If a variable temperature kettle or thermometer is not available, use water that has been heated to just below simmering.
Steep for 2-3 minutes, and combine with 1 cup of stock. Add the soy sauce and mirin and season with salt, to taste. Arrange two bowls with 1 cup of rice each, and pour the broth over the rice.
Meanwhile, cook the eggs by immersing them directly in a water bath heated to 167F for about 15 minutes. Carefully peel the eggs and place one in each bowl, over the mound of rice. Add an extra splash of soy sauce to each egg and garnish with chopped scallions. Serve immediately.
*I highly recommend making a basic homemade Chinese poultry stock with the back, neck, and wings of a chicken or duck carcass. The procedure is to parboil the duck or chicken parts in boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes, rinse under running water, cover them in cool water in a new pot with coarsely chopped ginger and onion, and simmer partially uncovered for 4 – 5 hours. The addition of ginger is important for this dish and imparts a distinct flavor from French stocks made with a carrot, onion, and celery mirepoix.