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Recipe

Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl) Recipe

Oyakodon, the pinnacle of Japanese soul cuisine, literally translates to “parent-and-child (oya-ko) rice bowl (don”). The meal is made of chicken and egg. In a sweet-salty sauce consisting of dashi, soy sauce, and mirin, bite-sized chicken, tender onion, and softly cooked egg are stacked and simmered together before being served on a bed of steaming rice. You want more bites as a result of the contrast in textures and flavour.

 

Preparing Oyakodon Broth

I start by combining the traditional Japanese sweet-and-savory ingredients such as dashi, soy sauce, sake (be sure to use a dry one), and sugar. Some people substitute mirin for sake; either will work. I add a finely sliced onion after mixing these ingredients in a pot and bringing the mixture to a simmer. I like to use a little bit more broth than is customary since I want to simmer it down to soften the onion and concentrate the flavour of the stock (I start with around a cup for every three eggs). The onions have enough time to tenderise in my experience when cooked for a full five minutes at a hard simmer before adding some thinly sliced chicken.

 

Additional Ingredients

Additionally, I like to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs since they maintain their juicy texture while they simmer, however chicken breast may be used just as readily. Just be sure to slice the chicken thinly so that it cooks quickly and avoid overcooking it! Three to four minutes should be sufficient for the breast, while five to seven minutes are sufficient for the thighs.  I add some thinly sliced onions once the chicken is fully cooked. This is where you should utilise mitsuba if you can get your hands on some. It is a Japanese herb that resembles parsley in appearance and flavour but has considerably softer undertones. I get a slight watercress-like aroma from the aroma, but none of the pepperiness. It won’t make or break the dish, but if you can find it, it’s good to have.

I then add eggs. The important thing is not to hit them too hard. You want to see separate egg white and yolk portions. My preferred method for beating eggs in this manner is with chopsticks, which can also be used to sprinkle the eggs into the heating soup. Although you can cook the eggs however you like them, traditionally you would cover and simmer the eggs until they are about halfway set. I pour the pan’s contents over rice after the eggs are done cooking. There will be a lot of additional liquid. It’s all right. It ought to flavour the entire bowl of rice as it absorbs into it.

Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl
Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240ml) homemade or instant dashi
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) dry sake
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) sugar, plus more to taste
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 340g boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast, thinly sliced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced, divided
  • 2 stems mitsuba (optional)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

To Serve:

  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • Togarashi

 

 

Directions

  1. In a 10-inch skillet over high heat, combine the dashi, sake, soy sauce, and sugar. To keep a strong simmer, adjust the heat. Add the onion, stir, and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is halfway soft. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 5 to 7 minutes for chicken thighs or 3 to 4 minutes for chicken breast, tossing and flipping the chicken occasionally, or until the chicken is well cooked and the liquid has reduced by about half. Add half of the scallions and all of the mitsuba (if using) after which you should test the soup and add extra soy sauce or sugar if necessary. A harmonious sweet and salty flavour should permeate the sauce.
  2. Simmer the food just at reduced heat. Holding chopsticks over the edge of the bowl will aid in distributing the eggs evenly as you pour the beaten eggs into the skillet in a thin, steady stream. About 1 minute for runny eggs or 3 minutes for medium-firm, cover and cook eggs until desired doneness is reached.
  3. Transfer hot rice into a single large bowl or two smaller serving bowls to serve. Add the egg and chicken combination on top, then spoon any extra stock from the pan over the rice. If desired, place an additional egg yolk in the middle of each bowl. Add the remaining togarashi and sliced scallions as a garnish. Serve right away.

 

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