oyako donburi (chicken n’ egg ricebowl)
Home alone tonight so wanted something quick and simple. When cooking for one, there’s nothing better than a donburi (japanese for “rice bowl”), usually consisting of simmered meat over a bowl of rice. I’ve chosen to make an Oyako Donburi which has a saucy topping of chicken, eggs and onions, it literally translates to “parent-and-child donburi” – the “parent” being the chicken and the “child”, the egg. Hugely comforting and satisfying, it was the perfect dinner to unwind with in front of the telly after a rather tiring day.
1 chicken thigh fillet, cut into small pieces
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 large egg
1/2 cup dashi* or chicken stock
1 tbsp koi-kuchi shoyu (japanese dark soy sauce)
1/2 tbsp usu-kuchi shoyu (japanese light soy sauce)
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp oil
steamed japanese rice (to serve)
Heat the oil in a small pan then fry the onions gently for a couple of minutes (add a splash of water if it starts to stick). Add the dashi (or stock), soy sauces and sugar, and bring to a slow boil. Put in the chicken pieces and leave to simmer on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
Crack the egg into a bowl and stir with chopsticks or a fork to combine ((do not beat as it will create air bubbles in the egg and effect the texture).
Gently and slowly pour the egg into the chicken and sauce and let it settle – don’t be tempted to touch it. When the egg starts to bubble and firm up slightly around the edges, stir through once. The mixture should be mostly set but still wobbly and runny (don’t worry if it seems a little under – the hot rice will continue the cooking process).
Take off heat and spoon onto a large bowl of steaming hot rice. Dig in!
* dashi is japanese bonito stock and can be made fresh with bonito (a japanese fish from the mackerel family) flakes and konbu (kelp) but for a quick meal like this just use instant dashi granules (kind of like a japanese stock cube) or chicken stock.