I cooked my first truly Japanese meal! Fortunately my favorite Japanese dishes are what the teachers call “Japanese soul food,” and are surprisingly easy to make.
For my first fully prepared Japanese meal with no American substitutions, I made…
It quite literally means parent-child-bowl.
I lovingly refer to it as my eggy rice bowl.
It basically consists of savory-sweet runny eggs with chicken and onion served over a heaping bowl of fluffy white rice. It is so easy to make that I didn’t even mess it up the first time I cooked it. And it’s super cheap to make. And filling. Did I mention easy?
This is the dish that I naturally go to in a restaurant when I don’t know what I want. It’s comfort food.
Not really knowing what dashi is (stock made from dried fish and bonito flakes), I got to test out my Japanese skills in the supermarket with an old lady! I was successful! I fully conveyed that I wanted the best dashi for oyakodon and what did she suggest. I used about five Japanese words, unnecessary but fun sign language, and a wide range of expressive faces. The best part, besides her broad smile and overwhelming happiness to help me, was that she used perfect English, making my stumble of Japanese quite unnecessary and borderline comic. Yay for conversation exchange!
Very quickly, I can show you how to make this wildly easy dish. You’ll be a lot less impressed with my culinary skill once you see how easy it is to cook (coming from the girl who has a hard time making instant pancakes.)
chopped lightly seasoned chicken
2 tbs mirin
2 tbs sake
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sugar
1/2 cup dashi
3 lightly beaten eggs
mitsuba for garnish
This is enough to make two portions so invite a friend over to impress.
- Bring all the liquid ingredients to a low boil in a deep frying pan.
- Add the chopped onion and chicken. Lower the temperature to a simmer and let it do its thing until the chicken is cooked. Eight minutes? I don’t know. It’s chicken. Don’t let it be pink inside.
- Pour the egg over top. Cover with a lid and let it cook until your eggs are as done as you like. A minute or two.
- Serve over rice. Garnish with mitsuba.
And that’s it. Takes like fifteen minutes from chopping to plating (if you have your rice prepared.)
I was tempted to not use mitsuba because it’s basically the Japanese version of Italian parsley. I think people use parsley for garnish because it’s pretty, not for how it tastes. Which to me is a waste because I’d rather garnish with green onion because it at least has a nice flavor. Trying to stay true to the restaurant staple that I love, I went with the mitsuba. And I’m glad that I did! It has its own flavor, nowhere near as subtle as Italian parsley. So if you have access to it, go for it.