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Poslfit Recipes: Oyakodon

Rated 5/5 based on 3 family/friend reviews.
200 mL dashi (prepared volume, not raw ingredients)
4 T Japanese soy sauce
2 T sake (must equal half of soy sauce)
2 T mirin (must equal half of soy sauce)
2 T sugar (should equal half of soy sauce)
2 smallish (yellow) cooking onions (or 1 medium), thinly sliced
1 skinless, boneless chicken leg (about 350 g), cut into small bites
4 large eggs, thoroughly mixed in two bowls each with 2 eggs
4 bowls of steamed rice
1 or 2 green onions, thinly sliced
a few small sheets of nori (dried laver seaweed), cut into slivers
[photo of oyakodon in a frying pan]
This recipe is based on our household recipe for salmon donburi, which is the opposite of how the dish historically evolved. Oyakodon, literally “parent-child-bowl” is thought to have been invented in 1891 in Tokyo, and is so named because you eat both the chicken (parent) and egg (child) together in one dish.
Serves 4. You can halve the quantities to serve two, but you'll need to cook it in a smaller pan. In theory, you could make a single serving, but you might run into trouble dividing the single egg evenly.
If you prefer chicken breasts to legs, just substitute them. 350 g is what I weighed the last one at, and is just a guideline. If you have no dashi, you should question your life choices and stock up on dried mushrooms (shiitake), dried kelp (kombu), or cured bonito flakes (katsuobushi) as soon as you can; you could in the meantime either make a less authentic dashi out of a random seafood stock from anchovies, sardines or shrimp, or change the dish entirely by adding bacon or ham. If you have no sake, you can make do with just mirin; the flavour will just be simpler. If you have sake but no mirin, look up how to season sake to simulate mirin. If you have neither sake nor mirin, as occasionally befell my mother (who was an excellent, creative chef) when travelling, you can use sherry, or sweet white wine.
Don’t be lazy about how thin you slice the onions. They have to be thin enough to be submerged in the cooking ingredients, to let the egg subsequently flow over them. Likewise, you want fairly small pieces of chicken, so that they will cook through before the egg overcooks.
If you’re making dashi from dried ingredients from scratch (which you should do, because it's cheap and easy), the first thing you should do is to bring 200 mL of water to a boil, then turn off the heat, and let the dashi ingredients (dried mushrooms, kelp or cured bonito flakes) steep while you prep the rest of the ingredients. Then when dashi is called for, strain the water directly into the frying pan.
Add dashi, soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar directly to a large frying pan, apply medium high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves.
Reduce to medium heat. Add the chicken, spreading it out evenly across the pan.
When the bottoms of the chicken pieces are no longer raw, add the yellow onion, again being careful to spread them evenly across the pan. Then quickly flip all the chicken pieces over to start cooking their other sides. Cook covered for about two minutes.
When you don't see anymore raw parts of chicken, make sure again that the chicken and yellow onion are evenly distributed across the pan, and if as is likely the onion has cooked less than the chicken at this point, quickly pick up the chicken pieces and spread them across the top of the onions. Pour one bowl of eggs evenly around the pan. Getting the eggs even is the trickiest part of the recipe, as it’s hard to move them around if you get too much in one part of the pan and not enough in another. Cook covered for another two minutes or so.
When the eggs are set, turn the heat down to medium low, add the remaining eggs, again being careful to spread them as evenly as possible.
Cook covered until the remaining eggs are cooked but still runny. Serve immediately over a bowl of rice, garnish with green onions and nori.
Remove from heat, pour onto bowls of rice. Garnish with green onions and nori.