When the weather is dull and wet as it has been recently, I get serious cravings for Japanese food. We English may think we know rain, and to an extent we do. We certainly have a lot of different rains. Japan simply has RAIN. As in, buckets and buckets, step outside without an umbrella and be drenched to the skin within 5 meters RAIN. And when the heavens open, and keep opening, there is absolutely nothing better than finding some tiny little out of the way eatery, thick with a fug of steam and soy sauce and mirin, and hunkering down until the warmth seeps back in and you are ready to face the day once more.
Now, by all rights, what follows should be a recipe for Ramen… but I can never make ramen that is anything other than a poor, pale immitation of proper ramen. And I know why this is. It’s all about the stock. One day I will spend an entire weekend carefully crafting the perfect bowl of ramen but until then I content myself with being able to whip up a number of easy, quick, filling, and delightfully warming Japanese dishes, such as this one.
Oyakodon translates as Parent and Child Bowl, which tickles me rather. The combination of chicken and egg is a brilliantly satisfying one. This dish really hits every single one of my savoury cravings and is always a winner in my kitchen.
150ml dashi stock
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp mirin
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 chicken breasts, in chunks (or you could use 2 large chicken thighs, skinned and boned)
1 onion, sliced /1 leed, sliced diagonally*
1 egg, beaten
sticky rice to serve
– In a deep frying pan combine the dashi, sugar, mirin and soy sauce and bring to the boil.
– Add the chicken and onion / leek and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the chichen is cooked through.
– Pour the beaten egg over the top of the sauce. Do not stir!
– When the egg has set serve over a bowl of sticky rice.
*Sometimes I use an onion, sometimes I use a leek. I think the onion is more traditional but I was given it with leek in too. I like squeaky leek but if you don’t then just go with onion!