Chazuke

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What's Chazuke?

What's Chazuke?

Chazuke means “soaked in tea”, bowl of rice in green tea poured on it. It is usually eaten with salty food such as dried fish, pickled vegetables, and seaweed. Chazuke is very common food for Japanese people, it has been loved for a long time as a soul food for them. Although chazuke is eaten with Japanese green tea now, it’s said that people ate that with just hot water and cold water at first. Those original chazuke were called “Yuzuke”, soaked in hot water, and “Suihan”, soaked in cold water, they appeared for the first time in Japanese oldest novel “Tale of Genji”, so chazuke has long history for more than 1,000 years.

Chazuke, Japanese fast food

Chazuke, Japanese fast food

It was after middle of Edo period, around 1650, when people started pouring green tea on rice like present chazuke style because at this time, Japanese green tea had spread into common people and they could enjoy chazuke easily at home. In addition, in Edo period, there were “chazuke shops”, serve chazuke as a fast food. Chazuke has been popular to common people for not only its easiness but also its convenience and rationality. At that time, people didn’t have technology to keep rice warm after they cooked at morning, and as time passed, rice became cold and bad. But by pouring hot green tea on rice, they could eat rice better than eating rice just itself.

In present Japan, buying instant products is major way to enjoy chazuke. In 1952, the most famous chazuke brand “Nagatanien” invented their first instant chazuke in Japan, which is familiar to all Japanese people until now. Inside instant chazuke pack, there are seaweed and rice cracker. There are a lot of chazuke flavor, you can enjoy salmon, pickled plum, and cod roe besides seaweed and rice cracker. Familiar to all people, chazuke is eaten at any dining scene in Japan. Some people eat it for quick breakfast and lunch for its easiness, and others eat it at night for being a little hungry. As above, chazuke has loved by Japanese people for a long time, it’s necessary for Japanese dining table.

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