NEW TEA LAB # 002 Tomoko Mikan TOMOKO MIKAMO / US sommelier / Kyoto

[THEME] Ideal Chazuke

Tea leaf shop pursuing the possibilities of Japanese tea [GEN GEN AN Phantom]
Tea experiment discussion with professionals of various genres gathering around it " NEW TEA LAB ". The theme of this second edition is "Exploration of Chazuke".

"Chazuke" quest and love for rice

The road to "chazuke" was not flat.
The encounter between Maruwaka, the representative of EN TEA, and Tomoko Mikan, a rice sommelier, was before Maruwaka started making tea. She has eaten 5 go rice every day since that time, loved rice purely, and was impressed by the appearance of Mikamo who is serious about the rice itself.
A few years later, in 2020, when I was hit by the Korona-ka and had more time at home, Maruwaka, who started his quest for "ideal chazuke", suddenly remembered Mikan's existence. rice field. At first, she researched on her own and tried and errored how to cook and select rice and select ingredients, but she could not find the ideal chazuke like this. Even if she works, she can't reproduce what she once did. With the help of Mikamo's love for rice, we decided to start the "Chazuke Study Group" in Kyoto.

Redefining the food culture rooted in Japan

There is a reason to focus on chazuke in the first place. Although it is a dish that everyone living in Japan knows, there are few people who know the original "chazuke" made from "tea". Because I noticed that. "Ochazuke" that is commonly available in the world is, so to speak, "dashi-zuke". I have always wondered if I haven't touched on "chazuke," which uses "tea" as it is.
"What is true chazuke?"
The journey of chazuke began with such a simple question. Tea and rice. There are many different flavors that can be made with the combination of the two, which everyone is familiar with. So to speak, I felt that chazuke embodies Japanese food culture. Rice served in one bowl and the ingredients placed on it become soup stock through tea.
Chazuke is a condensation of Japanese aesthetics, and isn't it a complete food?
It is said that there was such a feeling of conviction.

Research results of the "Chazuke Study Group"

The "ideal Chazuke" exploration conducted while going back and forth between Tokyo and Kyoto. Maruwaka chooses tea leaves and asks Mikamo to evaluate the tea while searching for the best rice and ingredients. I was surprised that the tea leaves, which had been alienated because they didn't go well with chazuke, and the rice selected by Mikamo actually matched very well. It takes several months to choose rice for each tea, adjust the cooking method and choose the ingredients. By repeating such a process, the more you dig "chazuke", the more you can discover the charm of "tea" itself that you did not know yet. After such an experimental period, the ideal chazuke was finally made. There was a certain feeling that "I made something like no other".

It becomes a "culture" only when it is incorporated into daily life. It made me feel the sex. I want to take root in the four types of chazuke that have been completed as "culture." To that end, I would like to develop and convey recipes using ready-to-get ingredients that can be imitated tomorrow. With that in mind, we created a total of eight types of "ideal chazuke that the teahouse had in mind," with four combinations of "tea and rice" and two recommended ingredients.

1. Tea: Red roasted tea × Rice: Yukiwakamaru

A fragrant and fruity taste Hojicha red roasted tea When the fragrance and rice are combined, the taste becomes deeper. The fruity taste overlaps with the salty taste, and the gorgeousness changes to an elegant taste.

Ingredients Hanakido Matsunoha Konbu

" Yukiwakamaru from Shonai, Yamagata Prefecture" "Is white like fresh snow with" Kamenoo "as its ancestor, and each grain has a distinctly firm texture. It is important to choose rice that does not spread because it takes time for the soup stock of soft-shelled turtle to dissolve in the ingredients " Hanakido Matsunohakonbu ". Yukiwakamaru is a rice that you can enjoy the texture in the soft-shelled turtle soup stock of Matsu no Hakonbu .

Ingredients Dengaku (Miso Dengaku) ​​

" Snow Wakamaru 's solid rice is enough to catch miso. Miso is aiming for mariage based on rice. If you take it in the deep bosom of rice, then Dengaku , which is soft and firm as a changing ball, and Yukiwakamaru , who catches the melted miso, is Ochazuke. , It is exactly the basic rice of tea, rice, miso, and "Japanese food".

2. Tea: Japanese tea × Rice: Tsuyahime

Similar to the bright green color, the taste is moist and elegant in the mouth, and the deep taste is impressive Nicha . Ideally, each grain of rice is moist and goes well with " Tsuyahime ", and you can enjoy the simplest and most essential taste.

Ingredients: Grilled salmon and wasabi

" Tsuyahime " from Shonai, Yamagata Prefecture, as an older sister of Yukiwakamaru It is a beautiful rice that is whiter and glossier and is suitable for a "princess". The scent of the cooked rice and the elegant, glossy whiteness make me wake up. And when it comes to breakfast, the classic "grilled salmon" wasabi, and I can't help but wake up.

Ingredients Dazaifu Etoya Plum Hijiki

White glossy, When the fragrant " Tsuyahime " is cooked, " Dazaifu Etoya Ume no Mihijiki " is suitable for breakfast. The fragrance and crispness of plum fruits and the sweetness of "Tsuyahime" spreads as you chew. If you have two sets in quick succession, your mind and body will be completely awakened, and it will be a wonderful start to the day. Come on, go.

3. Tea: Fabric (tea born in EN TEA) x Rice: Koshihikari from Minami Uonuma

fabric characterized by fragrance and sweetness. It goes well with the powerful Koshihikari and brings out the best in each other.
Unlike Ochazuke of green tea, it has a gentle taste that makes you want to take a break.

Ingredients Ochazuke eel

Koshihikari from Minami Uonuma , sweetness preferred by modern Japanese people, It is a near-perfect rice that has all the elements of aroma, stickiness, luster, and elasticity. Koshihikari is an honor student born from parents of Norin No. 1 and No. 22 in Fukui Prefecture, and goes north on the Sea of ​​Japan side as it is, saying "Koshi no Kuni ni Shine" and is widely cultivated in Niigata Prefecture." Ochazuke eel ", which is too recommended for this honor student rice, and the umami that exudes from the eel with moderately degreased taste is the soft rice of Minami Uonuma Koshihikari and the exquisite taste. It is an ochazuke that you want to have by yourself.

Ingredients Chirimen kelp

A precious jako to be enjoyed inland in Kyoto. The carefully cooked taste will slowly bring out the taste with Ochazuke. Koshihikari from Minami Uonuma and chirimen-jako and kelp, suitable for those who like soft things, isn't it a unique combination?

4. Tea: Moon tea × Rice: Nita rice

It has a transparent taste while condensing the energy of the land, but the lingering sound is full of vitality and keeps the mouth entertained for a long time. Similar to Nita rice , which has been a fertile land since ancient times and is packed with the goodness of the production area that continues to this day. It expresses the experience of tracing the original scenery of Japan with its taste and scent.

Nita rice is a Koshihikari rice that can be found in the mountains of the Izumo region (Okuizumo) and in the areas where the Yagi Orochi myth remains. The rice is suitable for Daikoku-sama, the god of Izumo Taisha, who raises cows on the land where iron sand used in tatara ironmaking is collected and then turns them into rice fields. The rice is soft and chewy, and it is suitable for a meal while slowly remembering the events of the day today, and it is a rice that you can spend time on. A relaxing time will lead you to sleep, which will be the source of tomorrow's vitality.

Ingredients Pickles (pickles)

The fragrant pickles permeate your body as you receive them, relaxing your mind and body. The rice that receives the scent of this pickle must have a high scent. Nita rice will fully respond to that. The co-starring of refreshing pickles, the aroma of rice, and wonderful aromas will enrich the final stage of the day.

Ingredients Dry pickles

Drift's Pickles , When I forgot to buy pickles, everything got in the way at the end of the day I can't help but thank the people who developed this pickles. Nita rice which is effective when it gets cold. Sprinkle tea on top of rice. This is the real thrill of "Ochazuke". Ochazuke (Japanese fast food) is a big attraction that continues to be supported in a short time.

Eight kinds of "ideal chazuke" born from the "chazuke study group" for several months.

This recipe uses only the ingredients that you can easily get by ordering or shopping.
Please try the finest chazuke that permeates your slightly tired body during the New Year holidays at home.

Madame Condara (Tomoko Mikan)
After living in the United States, China, India and Dust, she now lives in Kyoto. She always has at least 5 types of rice love and explores the charm of each. She is a "rice sommelier" who holds a qualification as a rice and taste appraiser. She cooks rice more than 1000 times a year, tastes more than 100 kinds of rice, and is still a rice professional who eats 5 go a day.

Edit & Text: Kana Takeyama ( PARK 365 )