When stomach feels tired and appetite is low, the Japanese often eat this humble food. Ochazuke is a bowl of rice soaked in hot tea or dashi broth. There are also various kinds of ochazuke-no-moto, which is freeze dried instant ochazuke broth with some flavorings, are sold at Japanese grocery stores.
Many people top ochazuke with salty condiments, such as umeboshi, tsukudani, or grilled cod fish roe. But some fancy Japanese restaurants serve ochazuke with sea urchin, fresh salmon roe, or sashimi toppings.
Ochazuke is also popular food to eat after drinking. It’s easy and quick to prepare, and can be made with ingredients most Japanese households have; cooked rice, tea or broth or ochazuke-no-moto, and some toppings.
When you eat this, you don’t use a spoon as you would eat soup. Instead, you use chopsticks and suck in the food directly from the bowl. It is consider to be an extremely bad manner in the Western cultures, and not elegant way to eat in Japan either. However, ochazuke is that type of food.
Most people eat ochazuke when they are alone, late at night, or feel lazy, but want to eat something quickly. No one is watching anyway. Relax, and eat ochazuke anyway you want.
In hot summer days, chilled ochazuke is appetizing.