Ah comfort food. I have no memory of my great-grandmother or grandmother ever making this specific dish, but the basic flavors all take me back to childhood. I love Japanese food and crave it often. As a child I didn’t care to eat much because there were so many other things that I wanted to be doing instead. I saw eating as a means to keeping me alive. Japanese food (and hamburgers) was the exception. I have never known as much satisfaction from food as I have after eating Japanese food. Once I learned to cook and actually start enjoying food, I learned to appreciate. I still crave Japanese food and I’m constantly trying out different recipes.
These two recipes are from the book Why Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat by Naomi Moriyama.
The Clear Soup is a non-miso based soup. I boiled water, added a half block of medium tofu (the book recommends silken), turned the heat down and simmered for two minutes. In another pan I boiled more water, added two shiitake mushrooms, turned the heat down and simmered for three minutes. For this soup I made my own dashi. I boiled two cups of it adding 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sake and ¾ tsp salt. Next time I would cut down on the salt as it was a bit too much. The tofu and mushrooms were cut up and placed into bowls. The soup was then ladled over and a sprinkling of green onion was added.
Oyakodon, or more simply, chicken and egg over rice is easy and quick to make. I have made this recipe before and found it to be a bit watery and bland. This time, I made some changes and voila, a much tastier oyakodon.
4 large eggs
½ cup dashi (I used my homemade stock)
1 medium yellow onion cut into thin crescents
1 leek, cut diagonally into thin slices
1 ½ tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tsp granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp mirin
½ lb skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
Rice (brown or white) as much as you like (I cooked 2 cups)
Break eggs into a medium bowl and whisk just until mixed
Place the dashi and sake in a medium saucepan over high heat (I used a wok). Add the onion and leek and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, sugar, salt and mirin.
Stir in the chicken pieces and cook for 3 minutes. Pour the beaten eggs over the surface of the chicken mix. Reduce heat to low and cook the mixture for approximately 2 minutes or until the egg and chicken are cooked through. Turn off heat
Fill bowls with rice and ladle the chicken mixture over top.
Sometimes, if I’m in the mood, I’ll add more side dishes, but on this occasion, I wanted simple and quick.