Oyakodon (Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

This is a favorite "homestyle" Japanese dish. There are whole restaurants devoted to making mainly oyakodon. I wish I could remember the name or location of the oyakodon restaurant my host family took me to, it was delicious!

"Don" is short for donburi which means a meal in a bowl on a bed of rice (there is "ten-don" for tempura over rice and lots of other [fill in the blank]-don).  Oya means parent and ko means child, so this is parent-and-child rice bowl. Parent and child b/c it is chicken and egg!
I had forgotten all about this dish until we saw it featured on NHK. This is very popular in Japan, especially for lunch.  I bet you could make tons of money with an oyakodon food cart here in the states. Here's a stab at recreating the recipe. 

Get rice cooking in rice cooker. Approx 1/2 to 3/4 C dry rice per person.  I like Tamaki Haiga rice, which is a short grain rice that tastes like white rice, but still has the bran on it so it is more of a whole grain.

Trim gristle from 3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs.  Cut into bite sized chunks.

Crack 5 eggs and lightly beat with a fork or chopsticks. Set aside at room temperature.

In a wide saucepan, bring the following to a simmer:
1 C dashi
1/3 C soy sauce
1/3 C sake
2 teaspoon sugar (or increase to 3 or 4 teaspoons if you like it sweeter)
optional: mirin

Add 1/2 large yellow onion, diced, and stir. Let cook for 2-4 minutes until softened.

Once the rice cooker is done and on warm (or very close to it!), start with the chicken.

Add the chopped chicken to the simmering liquid. Keep the lid off (you want the sauce to reduce down a bit). Stir and let cook for 1-2 minutes until white. Then turn the pieces to cook the other side. Let cook another 2 minutes or so, then test with a knife.

When the chicken is done, pour the beaten eggs over the top of the skillet and continue cooking for 1-3 minutes on low until eggs are done to your satisfaction.

Scoop the mixture over a bowl of rice and eat hot. Garnish with daikon sprouts or other greenery.

Japanese style notes: they like eggs more runny in Japan.  NHK suggested separating the yolks and whites, then pouring just the whites into the pan initially. Once set, then pour in the beaten yolks until just half coagulated. 
 I packaged up the leftovers in a container for tomorrow's lunch. Happy bento!

No comments: