Weekend Inspiration

8 01 2011

I think the cold weather is influencing me to cook like a mad person.  I guess I’m trying to stay warm by turning on the stove.  We have been living off simple dishes lately such as Pho Ga, soup, stir fry, and curry.  This Japanese dish is quite similar to Moo Pad-Graprow the Thai recipe that I posted last week.  Soboro Don is a stable dish in Japan.  I’m grateful for my father’s friend Professor Tanikushi for teaching me this dish.  I’m thankful that my parents are so adventurous when it comes to food and traveling.  They really installed the value of food appreciation by asking me to always try everything and anything.  To always be open to new things and to stay curious.

Japanese have a thing for naming things for the vessel they come in and this is no exception.  Donburi literally means “bowl”, but it typically refers to a bowl of rice topped with something. Japanese also tend to abbreviating things, so donburi becomes “don” in common parlance.  This is the ultimate weeknight meal as it takes almost no time to make. It’s also fantastic in bento boxes for lunch. I usually make a batch of onsen tamago (slow cooked egg) over a weekend as it takes a bit of time to make, if you haven’t make any ahead of time, this also great topped with a sunny side up egg, or scrambled egg, or even no egg at all.

You could do a lot with this basic recipe too. Try using beef or pork, or even crumbled firm tofu. You could also add veggies. For seasoning, it’s great with a little sesame oil, garlic, or if you want to give it a little kick, add some gochujang (Korean hot sauce).

1/2 lbs ground chicken
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp sugar
2tbs mirin
1tbs soysauce
freshly cooked rice
1 green onion thinly sliced
2 onsen tamago (or 2 sunny side up eggs or scrambled eggs)
Shichimi pepper powder (optional for garnish)

Put a bit of oil in a pan over medium heat and add the ginger. Saute until it’s fragrant then add the chicken, using a spatula to break it up into little crumbles until it is no longer pink.

Add the sugar and mirin and stir to coat the chicken bits. Add the soy sauce and cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated (careful not to dry the chicken out).

Put your hot rice in a bowl and top with a layer of green onions, then cover with the cooked chicken. Top with an onsen tamago or sunny side up eggs and garnish with some Shichimi pepper powder.

Wishing you a fantastic weekend!

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