Houjicha (or hojicha, roasted green tea) has recently been appearing in many places. Hojicha latte has become quite popular not only in Japan but in other places around the world (see our two recipes here). Hojicha in cake and other baked sweets are becoming more common, as well as hojicha candy.
This recipe however, focuses on hojicha tea as addition to a soup broth used in a Japanese hot pot (nabe – pronounced with two syllables). The recipe below serves 3-4 people.
- Houjicha tea (5-10 grams depending on how much water you use)
- Chinese cabbage or other leafy vegetable (you’d like something that is thick so it doesn’t break apart rather a thin leafy vegetable like spinach)
- 1-2 carrots
- 5-6 large dried shiitake mushrooms or konbu seaweed for the broth base (or use packaged dashi)
- meat (I prefer pork, using unflavored meatballs or dumplings like gyoza also works pretty well)
- Onions or Japanese scallions
- Soy sauce
- Rice wine
- Rehydrate the dried mushrooms by soaking them in water overnight. You can also use shiitake tea to shorten this process.
- Take the rehydrated mushrooms and the water that it was soaked in, and pour into a pot. A ceramic pot is best due to the way it manages the heat. Add houjicha tea leaves and konbu seaweed to enhance the broth.
- Bring the broth to a boil then remove the tea leaves with a mesh (or transfer using a strainer to another pot.
- Cut your vegetables into large bite sized pieces. If the meat needs to be cut, do so as well.
- Add the vegetables to the broth first.
- Once the vegetables begin to cook, add the meat
- Add a tablespoon of soy sauce, and a tablespoon of rice wine. Add pepper to taste for a bit of spiciness. Adding sesame seed oil gives it a slight Chinese flavor (though not common in Japan).