Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mother and Child Reunion

Lately, my cupboard and fridge have been a bit jumbled with odds and ends of food everywhere. The fun part is sorting it and finding what I can put together. Last night, I managed to cobble together oyakodon, a simple Japanese dish mostly comprised of chicken and eggs. I don't now where I got the recipe since it has been copied into my recipe notebook for so long, but here it is:

4 cups of steamed rice
2 chicken breasts or 4 chicken thighs chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cups soup stock - dashi or chicken when there is no dashi
5 tbsp mirin
4 eggs, lightly beaten
10 tbsp soy sauce
5 tbsp sugar

I usually only make 2 cups of steamed rice because 4 cups really is a lot of rice! Last night I used 1 chicken thigh and 3 chicken breast tenders because that is what I had left in my freezer. The only onion I had was wilting leftover green onions, and I never have dashi, a soup stock traditionally made from boiling kelp and tuna, though many recipes exist, so I used chicken broth instead. Mirin is a sweet sake used in Japanese cooking, though it was once drunk in the Edo period. (For all you nerds out there.)

The basic cooking instructions are let the broth, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar come to a boil in a large skillet. Add the onion and chicken, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Then gently pour in the eggs, stir slowly to mix it all in, and cover well, or in my case, let the largest lid you have float on top for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the egg appears to be cooked through. The chicken should also be fully cooked at this point, but it isn't a bad idea to check it by slicing open a few pieces. Serve over rice and enjoy!

In case you were wondering about the title to this entry, it's a reference to the word oyakodon itself. Oya means "parent" and ko means "child." Don tells you what kind of dish it is, served in a bowl over rice. So together, oyakodon is literally "parent-child-bowl." And yes, the song by Paul Simon, "Mother and Child Reunion," does come from this dish. Simon saw it, or a similar dish, on a Chinese restaurant's menu. Oyakodon is Japanese.

Being a fan of Japanese cuisine, I do happen to have mirin lying around my cupboard, but I understand if other gaijin (foreigners) do not. It is not very expensive, however, and I picked mine up from the international aisle at Meijer alongside the soy sauce, so neither is it difficult to find.

I hope you enjoyed another foray into Japanese cooking. Happy eating!

1 comment:

  1. This probably is my favorite donburi. Thanks for not making me try and find my cookbook in the ten bankers boxes of books. :S