Today I want to share a food with you that you may not have ever tried—or even heard of—before. So while the name (Oyakodon) sounds foreign (and let’s face it, it may look a little “foreign” too), as soon as you take a bite, all the flavors will come together and everything in your life will make sense and it will be as though you’ve been eating this food all your life and you’ll feel bad that you ever thought it looked funny in the first place. I’m telling you, trust Katelyn. This stuff is like the definition of umami.
Mitch served an LDS religious mission in Japan for two years, which is where he learned to cook Japanese Oyakodon from a Japanese companion he had. When he returned home, he taught me how to make it, and over time, I’ve tried to quantify the recipe (it was one of those “go-as-you-feel” type recipes), and now I’m excited to share it with you. You’ll probably have almost all of the ingredients in your kitchen already, except for maybe one little thing: Mirin (sweet cooking rice wine), and it’s super easy to find in the Asian section of most grocery stores.
This recipe is super easy, but I’m going to walk you through it step-by-step so you can see exactly how it’s done.
To start, you’ll want to get some rice cooking, so it will be finished at the same time the Oyakodon is. We prefer to use Nishiki sushi rice, which is a stickier, (and in my opinion, more delicious) type of rice, and we use it in most of our rice dishes. If you reeaallly don’t want to buy sushi rice, then you can use regular white rice, but I highly HIGHLY recommend using sushi rice. You won’t regret it. Place 2 cups of rice in a rice cooker or pot, and follow the cooking instructions on the package.
Now, we’ll slice the ends off of an onion, and then start slicing it length-wise… And no, normally I do not chop onions one-handed. I reaallly need a tripod…
Then cut it into thin half-moon ribbons.
P.S. Here’s my secret to tear-free onion chopping. Try them out, because your eyeballs are worth it.
Heat up some oil in a skillet over medium heat, and then add the onion slices.
Add a pinch of salt to help with the caramelization and stir ’em all up. Now we have an exercise in patience. Patiently let the onions cook until they’re nice and golden and caramelized. Good things take time.
Meanwhile, we’ll chop up a chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. Mmm… raw chicken….. not really. Eww.
Let’s fast-forward here. Ta-da! Just look at your glorious onions!
Now that they’re a deep, rich, golden, beautiful color, stir in some water, along with the chicken pieces, and a bit of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin.
Bring the broth to a LOW simmer, and let it simmer gently away for 30 minutes or so.
At this point, you’ll want to do a quick taste check. Depending on the type of soy sauce you used, you may want to add a bit of salt. If you’d like it a bit sweeter, add a bit of sugar. Or if you’d like it a little more savory, add a little soy sauce. A little a this, a little a that. You decide. You’re the boss!
Once you proclaim the broth perfect, break three eggs into a small bowl…
…and whisk them to smithereens with a fork.
Turn the heat up to medium, and carefully pour the beaten eggs all over the entire surface of the chicken.
Cover, and let the eggs steam for just a minute or two.
Now here’s the important part: we don’t want to COMPLETELY cook the eggs. We only want to let them sort of, gel up a bit… so they’re still just a teensy bit on the runny side. They may look a little questionable, but seriously, you will love the creaminess of the eggs once you try it. TRUST ME.
To serve, place some rice in a bowl (look how deliciously sticky it is!).
For the chicken/broth mixture, think of it like a lasagna. You don’t want to scoop up a big sloppy spoonful and destroy all the layers that have been created, right? Same idea here. Trying not to mix up the egg mixture on top, sort of “cut out” a section of chicken, and place it, egg-side-up, on top of the rice. Ladle a few spoonfuls of broth on top.
And the final final touch: Top with some diced green onions (okay, so I didn’t have green onions for this pic… they’re chives). But they still work. :)
And if you’d like a handy dandy pair of herb scissors like mine, you can get some right here:
The sweet and savory flavor combinations in this dish are absolutely on point. Go ahead and dig in with a spoon.