Did the chicken or the egg come first? No, we're not answering this today but are using both ingredients to prepare Oyakodon! This classic Japanese dish means “parent-and-child rice bowl” - with the chicken referring to the parent and the egg referring to the child. Sounds slightly evil when put this way but it is what it is.
Despite being relatively simple the prepare, I've never attempted it at home as the ingredients must be simmered in dashi (Japanese stock).....and guess who didn't have dashi ingredients at home? Old Sabby. New Sabby is motivated and ready to make dashi and a yummy bowl of Oyakodon. So let's get to it!
Serves: 1 pax
Cook & Prep Time: 20 minutes
1-2 pieces of deboned chicken (I'd suggest thigh with the skin on)
1/4 of a brown onion
1 stalk spring onion
2 pasteurised eggs
1/4 cup dashi (preparation instructions here)
2 teaspoons mirin
2 teaspoons sake
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Sugar to taste
To serve with Japanese rice, and spring onion/parsley for garnish. So don't forget to cook your rice in advance. *You'd need to prepare each portion individually in a small pan.
Cooking Directions : 1. Mix dashi, mirin, sake, and soy sauce. Add sugar to taste - I didn't use any but some would prefer a touch of sugar.
2. Thinly slice the onion. Cut the white ends of the spring onions into 5cm lengths.
3. Cut your chicken into consistent bite-sized cubes (slicing also works but I find sliced chicken less succulent).
4. Two options for your eggs:
Mix both eggs in a bowl; or
Separate one yolk and set aside for garnish, mix egg white with the other whole egg
5. Heat small pan over high heat. Add dashi mixture and sliced onions in a single layer.
6. Once it starts to simmer, add chicken and spring onion. Try to submerge the chicken pieces evenly in the broth. Cover and turn the heat to low. Let it simmer for two minutes.
7. Turn chicken pieces over. Cover and leave it to simmer for another 1-2 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink in the centre.
8. Two options for your eggs:
If you like your eggs runny, turn off the heat and drizzle in the beaten eggs into the pan. Cover and swirl the pan so that the hot dashi cooks the eggs.
If you like your eggs slightly more set, drizzle in the beaten eggs, cover for 5-10 seconds and turn off the heat.
To serve, 1. Scoop a nice bowl of rice - best to do so while the chicken is simmering so that the egg won't overcook from the residual heat in the hot pan!
2. Gently pour the cooked chicken and egg over the rice. Pour in the desired amount of remaining broth.
3. Garnish with parsley/spring onions/egg yolk. Ready to serve!
The raw egg yolk is visually appealing and adds creaminess to the rice once mixed in. But if the thought of consuming a raw egg yolk makes you squeamish, you can opt to cook both eggs!
Go for whichever version you prefer as both are so tasty and comforting! The dashi really adds complex umami flavours to an otherwise simple dish - so please don't try to substitute it with just water. Use premade dashi if you must but those can be quite salty so always taste your dashi mixture before cooking.
Extra: The dashi wasn't difficult to prepare and the ingredients were relatively affordable as well. If anything, it's just the hassle of stocking the dashi ingredients at home if you don't cook often. For convenience, a large pot of dashi can be prepared in advance and kept frozen in smaller packs for up to a month. If you've got your dashi ready, then you can easily whip up a bowl of Oyakodon in 20mins! Just don't overcook the chicken or eggs please.
Till the next cook, stay safe & makan well!