“Donburi is the ultimate dish for busy people,” say the authors of Japanese Soul Cooking (Ten Speed Press, 2013). This Oyakodon recipe—a one-bowl meal that is stunning in its simplicity—is a classic type of donburi, in which meat and vegetables are piled atop rice with a sweet-and-savory sauce. Once you have your ingredients (shichimi togarashi, a traditional Japanese spice blend of seven ingredients, including sesame and chili, adds an exotic flavor), you are only a few minutes away from a uniquely delicious dinner.
Recipe from Japanese Soul Cooking by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat
1 pound onions, peeled
1 pound boneless chicken legs or thighs (about 2 chicken legs or 4 thighs), skinned and cut into bite-size pieces
½ cup mirin
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup sake
½ cup dashi
6 cups cooked Japanese white rice
¼ cup mitsuba leaves (optional)
¼ cup thinly sliced scallion (optional)
¼ cup crumbled nori (optional)
Cut the onions in half lengthwise, from top to bottom (axis to axis). Cut each half into ¼-inch slices, also cutting lengthwise.
Combine the onions, chicken, mirin, soy sauce, sake, and dashi in a saucepan and place over high heat. When the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the chicken cooks through. Mix the ingredients occasionally as they cook.
To prepare the oyakodon one serving at a time, break 2 eggs into a bowl, and lightly beat the eggs, no more than 10 times. You want part of the yolk and whites to be lightly mixed, while other parts are still separated.
Transfer one-fourth of the chicken mixture (about 1 ½ cups chicken, onions, and broth) to a small skillet. A 6-inch skillet works great. Place the skillet over high heat. When the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat so the broth is simmering.
Pour three-fourths of the egg mixture over the chicken, onions, and broth. Do not mix. Cook for about 1 minute, then add the remaining one-fourth egg over the ingredients in the skillet. Cover the skillet and cook for 30 seconds more. Turn off the heat, and let the oyakodon rest, covered, for 1 minute.
While the oyakodon is resting, scoop 1 ½ cups of the cooked rice into a serving bowl. When the oyakodon is ready, uncover and slide the entire contents out of the skillet to rest on the rice. Tilt the skillet and use a spatula if necessary; the oyakodon should slide out easily. Garnish with the mitsuba, scallions, and nori. Accent with the shichimi togarashi to taste. Serve immediately, and repeat this preparation for the remaining servings.
To read a recipe and order your copy of Japanese Soul Cooking, check out our Scribd excerpt below.