If it works for white rice, the ochazuke recipe can work for potato chips too!

Let’s start with a little honesty: Potato chips don’t really need to be any tastier than they already are, since we love them plenty in their standard form. But between Japan’s culinary passion and kaizen/continuous improvement philosophy, though, the country is always looking for ways to make the snacks even better, which in the past has bestowed us with chips that taste like KFC or sushi, or just come drizzled with delicious green tea-infused chocolate.

The newest gourmet chip to hit the market is the latest entry in snack maker Koikeya’s Pride Potato series, this time called Pride Potato Tempura Matcha Salt. Koikeya boasts it has the texture of freshly fried tempura, and the chips are dusted with a mixture of salt and powdered green tea, so we expected great things from the product.

And our faith was not misplaced. The Pride Potato Tempura Matcha Salt went on sale May 14, and as we munched on a bowl of them, we were impressed by their above-average yet still balanced crispiness, as well as the elegant sensation of matcha that came with each bite. But as much as we would have liked to eat the whole bag, we had to restrain ourselves, because Koikeya had made an unusual recommendation to us.

For those who haven’t tried it, ochazuke is one of Japan’s simplest yet most satisfying comfort foods, consisting of a bowl of white rice with green tea poured over it, plus a few seasonings like small strips of nori (seaweed). Koikeya told us that after we’d tried a few Pride Potato Tempura Matcha Salt chips on their own, we should add them into a bowl of ochazuke and see how we liked them.

▼ Ochazuke

Ochazuke is pretty easy to make, so we scooped some white rice into a bowl, added the contents of a pack of Nagatanien-brand ochazuke mix (which you can buy at any supermarket in Japan, and many Asian markets overseas), and poured hot water over them.

▼ Ochazuke mix shown in the left

Finally, we grabbed a handful of chips and tossed them in.

We waited a few moments for the mixture to cool down enough so that we could taste it without burning ourselves, then used our chopsticks to pick up a green tea-marinated chip…

and it was incredible! The saltiness of the chip had been combined with the flavor of the green tea, creating an enticing synergy that kept our chopsticks moving until we’d eaten the entire bowl.

Granted, since the Pride Potato Tempura Matcha Salt chips come pre-seasoned with a bit of matcha powder, they’re an especially appropriate ingredient for potato chip ochazuke. That said, in their normal form the green tea flavor isn’t incredibly strong, so this recipe should work even with normal potato chips, and if you don’t have, or particularly want to eat, any rice, you could always leave the grain out and make a bowl of chips-only ochazuke, which is what we’re thinking to do right now with the chips we still have at the bottom of our bag.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where now he wants to try this with wasabi-flavored chips and wasabi-flavored ochazuke.

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