Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

Sometimes when I’m feeling lazy after work I like to just make a ‘one pot’ dish for minimal cooking and washing up. Oyakodon is one of these, if you don’t count the rice cooker!

I like oyakodon for its simple ‘clear’ flavours; traditionally it is cooked by simmering chicken in dashi, a kind of fish stock made from bonito flakes, yellow onion and spring onions, with lightly beaten egg added to the mixture, before being transferred onto a bowl of hot steaming rice.

The past few times I’ve cooked oyakodon, I lightly pan-fried the chicken before simmering it in hot water and dashi. Just a preference – it gives the chicken a little more colour. I also like chopping dried seaweed and adding it as a garnish but I’ve run out of dried seaweed! Dried seaweed is a great addition I think because it adds to the Japanese flavours and lends more texture to the otherwise soft, subtle ingredients. However this time around, I lacked a lot of the traditional ingredients so I had to make do without yellow onion (substituting with red), spring onions, and seaweed. It still worked though!

Oyakodon

Oyakodon

I think I still have a tendency to not add enough boiling water to the chicken when simmering it; the more liquidy the dish, the better :).

Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

Ingredients, for 4 portions
500 grams, chicken thighs, diced into small pieces (not quite bite sized though)
1/2  onion, sliced
3 eggs, beaten lightly
3 stalks spring onion, sliced diagonally into 1 inch pieces

200 ml dashi stock/boiling water mixed with 2 tablespoons dashi powder
1 1/2 tablespoons, light soy sauce for marinating
white sugar, 1/2 tablespoon, for marinating
salt, 1/2 teaspoon, for marinating
2 tablespoon mirin
optional – 1 piece dried seaweed (nori), sliced into thin strips for garnish

Method
1. Marinate chicken in light soy sauce, salt, and a little sugar. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large frying pan/skillet on medium heat
3. Pan fry marinated chicken, lightly browning on each side before turning. Add mirin to chicken as it is cooking.
4. When both sides of chicken are slightly coloured, add dashi stock to pan, turning heat to medium-low heat. Add onions.
5. Cover pan with lid and let chicken and onions simmer.
6. After chicken is fully cooked, add spring onions and swirl egg into chicken mixture. Cover pan with lid.
7. When egg is cooked, switch off heat. Serve on top of white rice, with seaweed garnish if using.

Pan Fried Chicken with Garlic Sauce – thanks to Kanzensakura

My take on Kanzensakura’s Pan Fried Chicken with Garlic Sauce

If there is one thing I need to have in my kitchen cupboard, it’s garlic. Take the onion, tomatoes and whatnot, but please, leave the garlic! It’s the smell of home, redolent of hearty dinners and simple suppers, of good times cooking and eating. I even love it when I catch the faint scent of garlic wafting from my hands after cooking.

My love of garlic led me to Kanzensakura’s post on ‘Chicken with Garlic Sauce’. I stumbled on the post two weeks ago and since then, wasn’t able to get it out of mind. The dish sounded easy, incredibly tasty, and also different: I’m used to stir-frying but this one called for browned, pan fried chicken. Yum. I could taste the caramelised garlic already. Click here for the recipe!

NB I didn’t stick to the measurements very closely (not having a tablespoon or teaspoon…), nor did I add sake because I don’t have any, but dinner still turned out amazing :D. It’s really important to let the chicken brown on each side before turning it, and also, to half cover the pan so that the chicken doesn’t dry out. Don’t worry about adding the sauce mixture much later too; it’s supposed to be more of a glaze, rather than a sauce.

Sigh, this definitely can be filed under my list of comfort food recipes… and it’s given me ideas on how I could do this with many other sauces… ginger, miso, black bean! Pan fried beef with black pepper, anyone?