Making Oyako Donburi ((親子丼) / "Parent and Child" Bowl of Rice
I’ve been so preoccupied with trying to think of recipes to post that’s appropriate for summer, that I’ve forgotten one thing: the Earth has two hemispheres. And while here on the equator and in the northern hemisphere people are basking on the warmth of the sun, those down in the southern hemisphere are a little less warm, like my friends Delima, Karina, Pepen and Bary. And I nearly forgot Pepen’s new cutie patootie pug, Lord Rhino Baratheon.
So here goes a recipe with a name that still sounds a little weird to me. Oyako Donburi, which translates to “Parent Child Bowl”; a reference to both the chicken and egg (quick!which comes first?) being present in the same bowl - bite sized broth laden chicken thighs wrapped in a blanket of silky, just-set eggs that’s been poached in a dashi broth. Stay warm you guys!
[ 300 grams chicken thighs skin-on boneless (11 ounces) + ¼ teaspoon salt + ½ cup dashi or chicken stock + 2 teaspoons soy sauce + 2 teaspoons sugar + ¼ teaspoon salt + 3 large eggs + 3 scallions + a handful of parsley + ½ an onion or 2-3 shallots + 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely + a 1-inch piece of ginger, chopped finely ] OPTIONAL: 2-3 egg yolks.
Rub ¼ teaspoon of salt all over the chicken. Place the chicken in a cold sauté pan skin-side down, then place a smaller cast iron pan on top of the chicken to weigh it down.
Put the pan on the stove over medium low heat. Gradually increase the temperature so the chicken not only cooks more evenly, it allows as much of the fat in the skin to render out as possible. Fry until the skin is golden brown all over and crisp (about 7 minutes).
Meanwhile, chop the scallions, onions, garlic and ginger.
Combine the dashi, soy sauce, sugar and remaining salt into another pan. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and half of the parsley and scallions.
Break the eggs into a separate bowl and mix just enough to break up the yolks. Just do a “Z” motion with your chopsticks about 2-3 times.
Once the skin is browned, transfer the chicken to a cutting board and chop it up into bite-sized pieces. Don’t worry if the meat may not be fully cooked, as it will cook through later.
Bring the dashi mixture to a boil and add the chicken pieces.
Add the eggs and cover the pan with a lid and turn down the heat to medium low.
When the egg is cooked to your liking, portion the egg and chicken out onto steamed rice and drizzle with the remaining sauce.
Serve with an extra egg yolk on top, if you’re feeling indulgent.
“Garlic Bird” Oyakodon (Parent-Child Donburi) from Toriko
If ever there has been a dish that exists solely to indulge the deep love of garlic, it’d have to be this donburi. The name of the dish is a reflection of the fact that both chicken and egg are used in it, where they come together in a glorious harmony of flavors that pairs perfectly with the roasted garlic and a nice cup of sake.
In the manga Toriko, Old Lady Setsu makes this dish for Toriko and Komatsu while they wait for her version of the Century Soup. Setsu makes the oyakodon with a ‘garlic bird’ (a fictional bird that tastes strongly of garlic) and a ‘ten yolk egg’. Sadly most of her ingredients couldn’t be found in any grocery store, so we just had to do the best we could with normal chicken, garlic, and single yolk eggs.
Although I mostly stick to vegetarian options, oyakodon is one of those dishes I continually make an exception for. I fell in love with this savory chicken and egg dish while living in Tokyo, Japan for 18 months (which I made a graphic novel about and you can read here!). It was always a bit greasy at restaurants, so I love the homemade version much better!
Bento box with oyakodon, white rice, and broccoli salad (broccoli with mayo dressing, veggie bacon, raisins, and sunflower seeds).