Green tea soup (ochazuke) is a Japanese soup that is traditionally served with rice and salted fish as well as nori or another type of sea vegetable. This vegan version is easily adaptable with any kind of vegetable. And if you find the flavor too mild, drizzle some soy sauce or tamari into the soup or even stir in a dollop of miso. The key to keeping with the flavor profile is to compliment the green tea with something salty – roasted eggplant, in the case of this soup – and something from the ocean.
Green Tea Soup With Roasted Eggplant (Ochazuke) [Vegan]
- 1 carrot
- 1 small daikon radish
- 1 spring onion
- 3 ounces buckwheat soba noodles
- 12 shiitake mushrooms
- 2 Japanese eggplants
- Handful of wakame (sea vegetable) or nori
- 4 cups water
- 3 teaspoons loose leaf green tea
- Sesame oil, to cook
- Salt and pepper, to cook
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Top and tail the eggplants and cut into rounds approximately 1/2 inch thick. Halve each round then toss them in a bowl together with a generous amount of salt, pepper, and sesame oil. Lay the half-rounds in a single layer on a baking tray and roast for 25 minutes or until nicely browned, turning halfway through.
- Soak the shiitake mushrooms in a bowl of boiling water for 20-30 minutes. Drain the water and slice the shiitake into strips.
- Cook the soba noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and set aside.
- Use a mandolin to finely slice the carrot and the daikon into rounds. Chop up the spring onion, both the white and green parts, with a sharp knife.
- Boil the 4 cups of water and brew the green tea, steeping the leaves for approx. 3-4 minutes, then straining.
- When you’re ready to eat, divide the vegetables and noodles between two bowls, adding the strained green tea over the top. Top each bowl with the seaweed and roasted eggplant.
- Drizzle with a touch of sesame oil, and enjoy immediately!