Clear bowl full of Genmaicha on white surface
Genmaicha Is The Japanese Pantry Staple That Boosts Stir-Fry And More
Japanese genmaicha is a low-caffeine variety of tea made with a blend of toasted brown or white rice and green tea. It's not only good to drink, but also good for cooking.
In the early 20th century, green tea prices were high in Japan, so toasted rice was used to improve the flavor of cheaper and more bitter late-harvest leaves known as bancha.
The rice softened any off-putting flavors and bulked up smaller amounts of tea. Today, genmaicha has evolved from its low-quality origins and is made with multiple grades of tea.
The tea is best brewed at 170 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit for two to three minutes. For half a cup of water, just over a tablespoon of tea leaves is a good starting amount.
Although delicious as a drink, dry genmaicha is also a deliciously crunchy and nutty addition to stir-fries, or a toasty-flavored topping for steamed meat or veggies.
In Japan, brewed genmaicha is poured over a bowl of rice and toppings in a dish called ochazuke, and it can also be used in desserts. This tea is sold in many spin-off varieties.
Hoji genmaicha has a smokier flavor and even less caffeine than the original, and matcha-iri genmaicha has a bright green hue with a more mellow, earthy taste.
Some producers also add sweeteners, herbs, or even rose petals to the mix. Seek out genmaicha from retailers online and enjoy it as a soothing drink or culinary secret weapon.