This dish is based on Japanese ochazuke—cooked rice served in green tea, water, or broth. A few extra additions make it a satisfying and filling meal
4 cups (1 L) water
1/4 cup + 1/4 tsp (60 mL + 1 mL) dried camomile flowers, divided
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
3/4 cup (180 mL) white sushi rice
3/4 tsp (4 mL) matcha green tea powder
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped roasted nori, about a 1/2 sheet
1 tsp (5 mL) toasted sesame seeds
2 oz (56 g) hot smoked salmon fillets,
skin discarded and flesh flaked
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (125 mL) packed baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup (80 mL) cooked green peas
1 green onion, thinly sliced
In saucepan, bring water just to a boil over high heat. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in 1/4 cup (60 mL) camomile flowers and salt. Set aside and let steep for 8 minutes. Strain through fine mesh sieve into heatproof pouring container and set aside.
Meanwhile, place rice into mixing bowl and cover with cold water. Swirl rice in water, drain, and repeat 2 to 3 more times until water is clear.
Into small saucepan, place rice, matcha powder, and 1 cup (250 mL) camomile tea and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once at a boil, reduce heat to low and cover saucepan. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, keeping covered, and let stand for 10 minutes.
In small bowl, stir together roasted nori, sesame seeds, and remaining 1/4 tsp (1 mL) camomile flowers crumbled between your fingers. Set aside.
Divide rice, salmon, radishes, spinach leaves, and green peas evenly between 2 serving bowls. Warm remaining camomile tea, if needed, in small saucepan over medium heat until just at a simmer. Pour tea around rice, salmon, and vegetables. Garnish with nori mixture and green onion and enjoy.
Flower storage solutions
Whether fresh or dried, there are a few tips to keep in mind to maximize the longevity of your edible flowers.
For fresh flowers purchased commercially, once home if you notice any dirt or insects, gently rinse by dipping flowers in a container of room temperature water or gently brushing away debris with a paintbrush or paper towel. Transfer flowers to hard-sided container lined with damp paper towel. Cover and refrigerate, changing paper towel every couple of days, until ready to use. Flowers should last about four to five days.
For dried flowers, transfer to clean, dry, airtight container and keep at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Most dried flowers will keep well like this for up to one year.
Feel free to use a simple baked salmon fillet in place of smoked salmon if you prefer.
If you’re able to source fresh camomile flowers, you’ll need to increase the quantity in the recipe by 3 to 4 times to achieve the same flavour.
“Edible flowers all have their own distinct aroma and flavour that they’ll impart to a dish.”