This recipe is slightly adapted from Wieke´s cookbook, and it is supposed to be a breakfast meal, but I can easily imagine it eating it for lunch or dinner, with a side of veggies. Ume-cha-zuke is basically a brown rice porridge cooked with tea and flavoured with umeboshi. Sounds odd, but it´s really great and refreshing! You can use a green tea or a roasted twig tea (which has much less caffeine) such as kukicha, which is the one I used.
Bring to boil 2 small bowls of rice (I had a long grain rice/wild rice mixture leftover) with 3 bowls of fresh made tea (1 used a tablespoon of the twigs for this amount). Mix in about a teaspoon of umepaste diluted in a bit of tea. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Most likely you will still have quite some liquid left – I took off the lid, brought the porridge to a higher temperature and let some of the liquid evaporate until I got a desired consistency. It should not be creamy, but also not very watery. Ume-cha-zuke is best served with chopped spring onion garnish and thin strips of nori seaweed (easiest is to cut up the strips with scissors). I also mixed in a 1/4 tsp of wasabi paste, yum!
I liked combining it with a small serving of snow nabe, made simply by simmering a few tablespoons of grated daikon with a pinch of salt, a sprinkle of lemon juice and small cubes of tofu (about one slice for two people is enough). And of course miso soup, as every morning 😀