Home Made Oyako don
Last Christmas Bosco and I went to Kyoto and met up with my Japanese friend Yui. She brought us to the restaurant where shabu shabu was invented, introduced us to the traditions of prayer-making at Kiyomizu-dera, and we even saw a real Maiko (geisha in training- yeah I thought they didn’t exist anymore too!)
Here’s a picture of me and Yui in Kyoto (eating a cream puff!)
Bosco and I are super fond of Japanese food and get really inspired every time we travel, so of course we had to ask Yui how to cook Japanese food at home. Yui taught us the secret to many Japanese dishes is soba sauce (つゆ tsu-yu sauce)! In particular this oyako don, which may look really complicated but is surprisingly easy! Who can resist half cooked egg, sweet onions, and juicy chicken on a bed of saucy Japanese rice?! I’ve been trying different methods/proportions nonstop and this has become my favourite. Please give it a try and let me know how it goes ^^
Difficulty Level: 1/3 (the only difficult part would be cooking the eggs perfectly, but the rest is very straight forward, suitable for a weekday meal)
*Thanks YATCH for the great suggestion 🙂 *
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Portion: 1 person
- 1 free range chicken thigh (skin- and bone-less)
- 2 eggs
- half a white onion
- 2 pieces spring onion
- shredded seaweed
- Japanese “seven flavour” seasoning (Nanami Togarashi)
- Japanese rice
- 40-50 ml soba (つゆ tsu-yu) sauce
- 40-50 ml water
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon sugar
Timer: 0 minutes
- Remove the fat from the chicken and slice into even 1 inch pieces
2. Gently beat your eggs but do not beat until smooth. Why? Because egg white cooks faster than yolk and you want some parts more cooked than the other to get that perfect fluffy texture.
Have you noticed how egg white tends to clump together when you’re beating it? To prevent large chunks of egg white in your dish later on, use your chopsticks to pull apart the egg white up the side of the bowl.
3. Thinly slice the onion vertically along the fibres (the onion will retain its texture and flavour better)
4. Slice off the white stalk of the spring onion
5. Finely chop up the green parts of the spring onion
Want to try making those delicate spring onion twirls?
a. cut the spring onion into 1.5 inch strips (if it’s too long they will tangle)
b. slice into two pieces vertically
c. layer 4 pieces on top of each other and slice thinly
d. to make them curl, soak them in ice water or soak them in the fridge
*Ok, even though I think these are extra pretty I know it’s totally not necessary, so just chop them however you like!*
All the ingredients prepared
Timer: 20 minutes
6. Use a pan about the size of your rice bowl so that the eggs can slide nicely onto the bowl later. Try to find a see-through lid which will allow you to see how the food is cooking (very useful later on when cooking the eggs). My pan originally came with the green lid on the left but I just used another pot’s lid.
7. Over medium heat, boil the sauce
*every brand of tsu-yu sauce has a different concentration, so taste test it first, it should be too salty to drink but ok for dipping, adjust accordingly if necessary*
8. Mix in the onions and white stalk of spring onions and let it boil with the lid on to prevent too much sauce from evaporating
Cook until they soften and flavour of the onions have come out
Timer: 28 minutes
9. Mix in the chicken, let it cook with the lid on
When they’re half cooked, flip the chicken around so that the other side gets cooked in the sauce too.
Once the chicken is cooked thoroughly, it’s ready
Timer: 35 minutes
10. How to get the perfectly cooked eggs!
The best part about this dish is the half cooked eggs dripping onto the rice. Here’s an easy method to ensure you get the perfect eggs!
Slowly and gently pour 2/3 the eggs on top and use your chopsticks to distribute the eggs evenly
Use your see-through lid to cover it and watch for when the eggs are almost thoroughly cooked (approx. 30-40 seconds)
When the bottom layer is almost cooked through like so, it’s ready
Add the remaining 1/3 EVENLY on top
Add the spring onions, cover with the lid, then turn the heat off
Watch through the lid, when the eggs look about 20% less done than you would like, take off the lid (approx 10-20 seconds)
*cook the eggs to your own liking, but keep in mind the residual heat will further cook the eggs, so don’t overcook and serve right away! *
*Try to use a rice bowl with a wide opening and narrow bottom, it’s a lot easier to pour into and you don’t need to fill the bottom with too much rice.
Directly slide onto your rice, you should have just enough sauce to seep through most of the rice but not enough to flood the bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle with shredded seaweed and Japanese “seven flavour” seasoning.
Timer: 45 minutes
Japanese food is all about presentation. Directly sliding it onto the rice looks a lot nicer than using a ladle to spoon it out (it will break apart and the eggs will slip away), which is why I’ve written the recipe for one person’s portion. If you’re cooking more than one portion at a time, you will have too much sauce to directly slide it onto the rice, so use a ladle with holes to spoon it onto the rice then pour the desired amount of sauce on top.
I hope you enjoy it and if you try this please send me a picture! Also, please enter your e-mail on the left to subscribe and leave your comments below, it would totally make my day! : D