If you have leftover rice in your fridge, you can make chagayu, a Japanese tea porridge that calls for simmering the cooked grains in brewed tea. The dish is a popular breakfast in Nara, Japan’s first permanent capital, which has one of the longest histories of tea cultivation in the country. This chagayu recipe uses hojicha, roasted green tea that contains less caffeine than most green varieties and perfumes the rice with a delicate, earthy fragrance.
Look for hojicha in its whole-leaf or bagged form at your local Japanese grocer, or online. Nara-based chef Yasunori Iwata recommends enjoying chagayu with flavorful side dishes like kyurizuke (pickled cucumbers), umeboshi (bracingly acidic pickled plums), and kombu tsukudani (seaweed simmered with sake and mirin).
Featured in, “Seeking Mindfulness in a Bowl of Japanese Tea Porridge", by Megan Zhang
- 2 tsp. hojicha tea leaves, or a tea bag (see headnote)
- 1 cup cooked short-grain white rice
- ½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more