I visited my mom recently and she served me one of the best breakfasts I have had in a long time--tai chazuke. Chazuke is short for ochazuke, a common method of enjoying rice in Japan. A bowl of rice is topped with condiments and hot tea or dashi is poured over it. Tai chazuke is ochazuke topped with raw, marinated tai (sea bream).
My mom served the ochazuke in large bowls with sprigs of mitsuba and strips of nori (know your seaweed, please). The tai was marinated in gomadare (sesame dressing) that was salty enough to retain its flavor even with the dashi was poured over it. I lucked out and my mom sent me home with a pint of gomadare. SCORE!
Back in the Japanify kitchen, I was determined to recreate the delightful breakfast I had at my mom's house. I remembered the tender, fresh wild suzuki (sea bass) that was available at my local fish market and decided that it would be perfect for my version of a gomadare chazuke.
It was so easy because I already had the gomadare in the fridge. But knowing I would run out soon, I asked my mom for the recipe.
Sashimi in Sesame Sauce + Ochazuke (Tea-Soaked Rice)
INGREDIENTS (2 servings)
1/4 pound sashimi-grade sea bream or sea bass
A few sprigs of mitsuba or a stalk of green onions (you can find mitsuba at the Japanese market)
A dab of wasabi
Dashi or tea (I recommend sencha, hojicha or genmaicha. Don't use black tea. Make your own dashi)
Gomadare (Sesame dressing)
2/3 cup roasted sesame seeds (unhulled)
2 tbsp sake
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1. Grind sesame seeds well with a pestle to a powdery consistency.
2. Bring sake to a boil and let it cool.
3. Mix all of the remaining ingredients together with the sake and sesame seeds. This dressing will keep in the fridge for two weeks.
4. Cut the sashimi into thin slices.
See my post on how to slice sashimi.
5. In a mixing bowl add 3-4 tablespoons of gomadare. Combine with slices of fish. Mix very well. Make sure every nook and cranny of the fish slices are coated.
6. If you are using mitsuba, cut roughly into 1/2 inch pieces. Green onions should be sliced thin.
7. Heat the dashi or make tea.
8. Add a single serving of rice into a bowl. Top with half the fish in the mixing bowl. Garnish with mitsuba or green onions. Add a dab of wasabi to the side of the bowl. Repeat for the second serving.
9. You can enjoy the bowl of rice and fish with our without the dashi or tea. I usually like to eat some of my serving without rice...
...then at half-time I pour dashi over the rice and fish and enjoy for a different experience.
The breakfast at my mom's house will be remembered forever because the experience extended to my own kitchen. It takes a lot for me to try something outside of my home and actually take the initiative to try and recreate it when I get home. By sending me home with a tub of her gomadare, it's like she was giving me a boost.