This is the dish that Souma used to match Isshiki’s dish. in their informal shokugeki. Also, the first dish introduced that is from Restaurant Yukihira secret menu.
For the plot, it is worth noting that Souma used to cook this dish with the Poule method. As the anime explained, Poule is a cooking method in French cuisine, a type of saute. It is a type of method where you pour olive oil and the like over the ingredient from above in order to ensure even browning.
While there is another explanation in the manga about “Poule”, I consulted with some chefs and they said the anime explanation is the correct one.
Anyway, Souma knowing the Poule method is a hint about Joichiro. At the very least, Soma’s dad should be familiar with French cuisine. It is also a subtle clue of what Joichiro is doing after Totsuki. Note that Souma said that Joichiro traveled around cooking in different countries. And after sending Souma out to Totsuki, we see Joichiro being welcomed as some sort of celebrity chef in New York.
It is worth that while Souma knows the Poule method and when it should be used but does not know what it is called. This shows Souma’s lack of formal culinary training that many of his peers have. Conversely, it also shows that while Souma has a vast wealth of experience that he can use as an equalizer. Souma might fail the paper test but make him do the practical demonstration and I’m sure he’ll shine.
Lastly, I think this Shokugeki is where Isshiki’s unwavering faith and optimism about Souma’s ability as a chef came from.
Isshiki thought this regarding the match.
Isshiki: I never thought he’d make rice ball ingredients using a French technique. His cooking isn’t bound by culinary traditions or genre. How liberated!
Which is pretty close to his own philosophy revealed in the future. Remember on the match with Julio:
Isshiki: If I can make something new, I’ll use whatever ingredient or technique it takes.
So what about the dish itself?
Chazuke is one of Japan’s popular dish. It is made by pouring green tea or dashi over cooked rice and adding a variety of toppings. Some of the toppings used are Japanese pickles, seaweed, wasabi, fish meat and other pickled seafood.
In this particular case, this recipe calls for either mackerel or as the anime implies salmon.
Mackerel and salmon are both fatty fish which meant that they over 5 percent fat content. Regarding the taste, I’ve personally found that Spanish Mackerel is to be milder tasting than salmon and a good deal cheaper in my country. Salmon actually has a fuller flavor. That said, Salmon wins the war on nutrient content. While both fish provides Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids, salmon just provides more.
Mackerel Onigiri Ochazuke by yorilog – A short video regarding on how to make the dish.
Revamped Onigiri Ochazuke by Shokugeki IRL – Another person who recreated the dish. This time its on a blog format.
Other Ochazuke Recipe ((Salmon Ikura Chazuke and Umeboshi Shirasu Takana Chazuke) – if you want other Ochazuke recipes especially a Salmon one.