Monday, May 18, 2009

Oyako Don


I've always had a soft spot for Japanese cuisine - it's healthy, uses wonderfully fresh ingredients and is bursting with flavor and color. I think it all started when I tasted sushi for the first time in high school. I remember trying to get my parents to appreciate it as much as I did, with little success. My mom is happy with a chirashi at lunch sometimes now (she really likes raw salmon) but I never got them to appreciate much else. I guess there's something about raw fish that doesn't appeal to everyone - much like my love for beef tartare that has given me some strange looks in the past in North America. But my sushi journey continued nontheless - from soft shell crab sushi rolls a couple years ago in Sydney to scallop sashimi from one of my favorite sushi restaurants in Montreal. Good sushi is expensive though, that's a given. A lot of sushi places in Canada try to sell you on the cheaper stuff, but I really don't like it. The cream cheese and sun-dried tomato sushi I've seen is just not my thing... neither is most of the mayonnaise-based rolls with very little fish. So, it turns out that I have been spending more than advised on really good sushi.

Ordering Oyako Don is a great option for those times when you can't spend too much on sushi rolls. You can indulge on a few pieces of sushi as an appetizer, and get a comforting bowl of Japanese rice with sweet mirin-licked onions, tender chicken and egg. The taste of this dish is so very unique - it's sweet and salty, with layers of flavor coming from dashi stock, soy sauce and mirin. It's really, really delicious. Oliver and I tried to make it at home a few times, and I think we've come pretty close to what we get at the restaurant. And the best part? It's ready in 20 minutes (I guess that sounds a little Rachel-Ray like, but you get the point).

Oyako Don (serves 4)
2 cups of sushi rice, cooked
1 white onion, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 cup of dashi stock
2 teaspoons of mirin
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 pinch of brown sugar
4 chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
2 green onions, sliced
3 eggs, beaten

Heat a little vegetable oil in pan on medium heat and add the onions. Add the dashi, mirin, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 7-8 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Add the chicken. Cover and cook for 7-8 minutes - stirring a few times. Add the green onions and stir. Pour the beaten eggs over the chicken and onion mixture in an even layer. Cover and cook until the egg is just set.

Serve over Japanese rice. Enjoy!

22 comments:

Junglefrog said...

I've only recently started to like sushi. We never had fish when I was growing up so I just didn't like the taste of it, but gradually I've actually become a fish lover. Sushi was still the thing I didn't like but recently I discovered that it's actually not so bad... :) This Oyako Don sounds perfect and I love the photo! Just beautiful!

pigpigscorner said...

I love Japanese cuisine! I've never ordered this dish before as I tend to go for raw fish or sushi.

Dawn said...

you kill me each and every time with your creations and perfect photos.

Marta said...

Good sushi at a reasonable price is hard to find in Canada. In Calgary, there's one place, but you're sure to spend over $50/person! This dish looks great, I love going beyond the rolls when I explore Japanese cuisine :)

Justin said...

i'm not familiar with oyako don, but i really love the photo. actually now i'm curious about the recipe too, because it looks so simple.

Cynthia said...

Thanks for the introduction to a new dish and as always, your photography is stunning.

Coco Bean said...

I am a huge fan of japanese cuisine. Where do you get good sushi in this city? The best I have ever had was in Vancouver, but then again, that's a give in. The fish just melts in your mouth!

Elyse said...

I'm with you: I love Japanese food and I love almost all sushi. I can't wait to try out your recipe for Oyako Don. It looks delicious!

Cakebrain said...

thanks for reminding me to make this tomorrow! I haven't made it in a while and it's comfort food to me! Yours looks yummo!

Y said...

Yummy! I love chirashi! Keep forgetting to make some at home, now that I think about it. I made Gyudon the other day - beef and onions on rice. So simple, but so tasty, like most Japanese dishes I love :)

Jo said...

Japanese food .. love it. This sounds delicious. Give me either cooked or raw, I'll jump right at it.

stephchows said...

Mmmmmm I love me some raw fish but your meal sounds just as appetizing :)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE oyako-don. In Japanese, oyako literally means "parent & child" - thus the chicken (parent) & egg (child)!

Cakespy said...

This dish is new to me, but it sounds so good. I have seen it on menus before but have always been too scared--I think you've made me braver by de-mystifying it!

Deborah said...

I don't know very much about Japanese food beyond sushi - I should give this a try!

Irene said...

This dish sounds lovely! The photo is as well. I also love Japanese food for its seeming simplicity and yet such focus and precision.

unconfidentialcook said...

THis is my daughter's favorite dish. I posted it as Japanese Chicken and Egg over Rice. Love it!

Ash said...

Love the pics! soo simple!
Great dish!!

CookiePie said...

That looks fabulous -- I LOVE LOVE Japanese food, and the "home style" cuisine is especially delicious, like this dish!

natsuko said...

Hi Jenn, I'm really glad you introduced one of my favourite Japanese casual dishes!! It's great you love Oyako-don:) I always order it whenever I go to soba/udon place. Do they serve it at sushi restaurant in Canada?

Kevin said...

Japanese cuisine is one of my favorites. Oyakodons are nice and easy to make at home and so tasty!

liz {zested} said...

I'm so impressed with how you took a fairly bland looking dish and turned it into a beautiful photograph. The recipe sound easy and delicious.

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