Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chicken and Mushroom Donburi


When Greg and I moved in together, I realized just how much partially empty bags of rice we have. So I decided to look through my Japanese recipes and see what I could serve over steamed rice. One of my favorite foods in the world is the mushroom, preferably slightly cooked in butter. And bingo! Chicken and mushroom donburi!

Donburi is a Japanese dish that is essentially comprised of rice and stuff on rice in a bowl. Oyakodon (made Sept 15, 2011) is chicken and eggs cooked in soup stock, mirin (sweet sake), and soy sauce over rice. Gyudon is comprised of thinly sliced beef and onions simmered in soy sauce and mirin served over rice. Katsudon is breaded pork cutlet over rice. And the list goes on.

This recipe for chicken and mushrooms donburi is strangely ridiculously easy. It also doesn't strike me as being terribly Japanese since the main thing is to stir-fry the mushrooms in butter over low heat. I didn't really need the chicken at this point, I was happy with the mushrooms, but I went ahead and cut it into chunks and also cooked it in the pan after the mushrooms so they'd be coated in yummy buttery mushroom flavor.

Once the chicken turned white, I turned the heat up to medium high, stir-frying the chicken and mushrooms together so the chicken cooked thoroughly. In retrospect, this step might have been improved by adding some soy sauce, oyster sauce, or other small flavoring since mushrooms and chicken are, admittedly, a bit bland. The recipe actually calls for the chicken and mushrooms to be served over rice with soy sauce, the soy sauce being added last and shaken over-top. I find that soy sauce tastes better when it's cooked in the dish rather than added later.  

Using my rice cooker to make a batch of rice, the meal was complete. It's nothing fancy, but it was pretty tasty to me, and even Greg said he liked it. I've made this in the past with the intention of packing it for lunches. It really does make a great packed lunch since the rice and chicken with mushrooms can all be put into the same Tupperware container. A minute or so in the microwave and you have a warm, decently nutritionally balanced meal for cheap. (I find it preferable to PB&J anyway.) Add your choice of fruit on the side for added nutrients. 

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