In the midst of Vancouver’s cold and rainy weather, here are some comforting Japanese dishes to relax in.
Yield: two servings
2 boneless chicken thighs with skin
1/2 cup dashi (see note)
2 tablespoons of mirin or sake plus 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of shoyu (soy sauce)
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 large eggs
1 small onion, sliced
1 shallot, minced
shichimi togarashi for garnish
cooked rice to serve
Break the eggs into a bowl. Break the yolks and mix a little, but leave the yolk and white streaked and separated.
Combine the dashi, mirin, shoyu and sugar. Mix well to combine.
Sear the chicken, skin side down. Remove the pan from the fire. Slice the chicken and set aside (note that it should not be cooked at this point).
Return the pan to medium heat. Add the onions and the dashi mixture. Bring to a boil, cook for 1 minute.
Add the chicken, skin side up. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the onions are tender and translucent (about 3 to 4 minutes).
Pour the eggs into the pan and stir once or twice to distribute everything. Cover and cook until the egg is barely set (about 1 minute).
Transfer the mixture to a warm bowl of cooked rice. Garnish with mitsuba / scallions and shichimi togarashi and serve immediately.
Dashi: You can use scratching dashi (i.e. with katsuobushi and kombu) or instant dashi. Note that many types of instant dashi have a lot of added salt, so you may want to reduce the added soy sauce and then adjust to taste.
shallots and mitsuba: Scallions are often replaced by mitsuba in Japanese oyakodon recipes, but this leafy herb is often hard to find outside of Japan. Other alternatives include parsley, celery, and cilantro leaves.
Portion: The recipe as given makes an extremely large single serving or two medium sized servings. The recipe is easily halved, but if you want to do more, you can do it in batches. You can cook a really big batch in a large frying pan, but you might find it more difficult to prepare individual servings without breaking the eggs and mixing everything together. Still, this is more of a cosmetic issue than anything else – everything will taste great anyway.