Oyakodon · GF (two servings )
I don’t stray into the savory world very often, so I hope a recipe involving onions and soy sauce won’t freak anyone out too badly. There’s sugar too, so I’m not entirely out of my element, you know.
Oyakodon turns up on our dinner table all the time. I make it whenever it gets cold and gloomy outside. Whenever I roast a chicken and need to use up the random, leftover bits picked off the carcass. Whenever I’m just too lazy to make anything else. It’s my perennial answer to hypothetical questions about what I’d have for my last meal. It’s just that good.
Oyako means “parent and child,” a winking reference to the chicken and egg poached together in the same salty/sweet broth. In some parts of Japan, the parent and child in question are salmon and roe and another variation, tanindon, pairs the egg with a “stranger” like beef or pork.
Luckily for those of us working our way through piles of post-Thanksgiving turkey, there’s taakiidon. Seriously. I couldn’t make a word like that up. And without the “oyako” part to worry about, you can make turkey-don with regular ol’ hen’s eggs without worrying about any sort of culinary or cultural faux pas.
My recipe is in no way traditional. First, I can’t resist caramelizing the onions a touch. Second, I use this dish a vehicle for leftovers, rather than poaching raw meat in the broth (as one should). And finally, I use chicken stock rather than konbu dashi.
If you think I’m going to hell in a hand basket for that sort of culinary sacrilege, you should try eating at an “American” restaurant in Tokyo. Turnabout’s not just fair play, it’s delicious.
For all that I’m addicted to baking with a scale, when it comes to the loosey-goosey world of cooking, you won’t catch me weighing out shredded poultry.
Oyakodon or Taakiidon, serves 2
1 large or 2 small onions
2 tablespoons neutral flavored oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce or a tamari-style GF soy sauce
optional: one Tablespoon kombu dashi powder*
1 1/2 cups chicken or turkey stock
1 cup shredded chicken or turkey
2 servings cooked Japanese rice, hot
Optional: toasted nori, scallions
Cut the onions in half, through the root, and peel. Slice thinly.
Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the onions over medium low until they wilt and begin to take on a pale golden color, about fifteen minutes. This ain’t French onion soup, so don’t get too carried away with caramelizing the onions, you only want a little bit of color.
Add the sugar, soy sauce, dashi powder and stock.
Increase heat up to medium, bringing the liquid to a simmer. Meanwhile, crack the eggs together in a bowl and whisk gently with a fork to combine.
When the mixture begins to bubble hard, add the shredded meat to the coolest part of the pan (usually in the center) and pour the eggs all at once into the hottest part (around the edges). Let the eggs cook, without stirring, until fully set; about 45 seconds. Shut off the heat.
Scoop a portion of rice into a big soup bowl and use a slotted spoon to top it with the eggy, onion mixture. Carefully divide the remaining broth between each bowl, pouring it in at the side, rather than over the rice, so the rice stays as clumpy as possible.
Top with torn bits of toasted nori or thinly sliced scallions.
*I’ve got a pretty well stocked Japanese pantry and always have kombu dashi powder on hand, but if you don’t have it or any particular love for kelp, you won’t miss the flavor anyway, so don’t worry about making a special trip to get it.
Nov 26, 2012 · 7:27 PM
This looks so good! I love Japanese food, and I love, love, love anything with eggs in it. Thank you for sharing!
· Rachel · lifeinbatches.com
Nov 26, 2012 · 8:50 PM
I am here to report that Stella has created an addictive masterpiece. I have no idea what it “should” have tasted like, but it was easy to make with her directions and the result was delicious. I used a bit more broth than called for, and at my husband’s instigation, we threw in a dash of Vietnamese chili garlic sauce for good measure and a multi-ethnic twist. Yum!!
· MotherWouldKnow · motherwouldknow.com
Nov 26, 2012 · 9:13 PM
@Luis, drives me crazy when people think it’s nothing but sushi. So many hearty flavors to dig into!
@Tunie, oh man, I’d do just about anything for a bowl of ramen right now.
@Rachel, I hope you try it out! It’s egg-tastic.
@MotherWouldKnow, It’s definitely not a soup, more of a sort of moist casserole served over rice, almost. Hard to explain! But I say whatever tweaks make it tasty to you are fair game. So happy you made this today, yay!
Nov 27, 2012 · 4:06 AM
This sounds deeeeelicious. I think my daughter who loves to eat egg drop soup over rice would probably really enjoy this!
· bethany actually · bethanyactually.com
Nov 28, 2012 · 10:25 AM
Taking a walk on the wild side, Stealla
Boy, this looks great! Thank you so much for a tempting glimpse of the loosey-goosey world of cooking!
· mics · firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov 28, 2012 · 6:54 PM
This looks DIVINE. To keep my vegetarian ways, I might try this with a little tofu, what do you think? But I love the idea of cooking the eggs into a broth-y sauce… and truly, what a great weeknight meal.
My hippy culinary school instilled a great love of all sea vegetables in me, so I am happy to report that I have all manner of dried kelp in my pantry, including kombu dashi powder. (pats self on back)
Great recipe, thanks!
· Sara at The Cozy Herbivore · http://thecozyherbivore.blogspot.com
Nov 29, 2012 · 9:09 AM
@bethany, definitely an egg-lover’s dream dish.
@mics, haha. I don’t do it much, but sometimes it’s worth a shot.
@Sara, high five, seaweed gal! You might try using a firm tofu, sliced into shreds and poached in the broth. I feel like TVP could be really good here too. Good luck vegetarianizing it!
Dec 03, 2012 · 2:01 AM
I made this recipe last night, and am eating the one very small portion of leftovers as I type this. Everyone I made it for, ages 2 through 60, LOVED it. My older daughter (the one who loves egg drop soup over rice) had been sick with a stomach bug, and this was the first real food she ate and enjoyed after being sick. Excellent comfort food. Thanks again!
· bethany actually · bethanyactually.com
Dec 04, 2012 · 9:35 PM
OMG – When I saw this post, I immediately got homesick – I’m Japanese-American and my mom would make this on cold nights.
I made this directly after reading your post and thought of my mom.
· Monica · createisaverb.com
Dec 05, 2012 · 9:53 AM
Bethany, yay! I’m so glad you tried it out! This recipe is my “hangover helper” so I totally believe in its powers to soothe a topsy turvy tummy. Thanks for the good report!
Monica, funny how food can do that. Did you like the caramelization in the onions, or do you think Mom would have been shaking her head in disapproval? I feel like my Japanese friends would have been like, “Eeeehhhhhhh?!”
Dec 06, 2012 · 10:16 AM
This looks lovely for a quick, week night meal. Bookmarked thanks.
Dec 08, 2012 · 9:16 PM
I’m currently starving and just came by to check my ratios for marshmallows. (I’m turning the Browned Butter Sage into Butter Rum because I can). While I’m craving a giant bowl of champong, I’ll take what I can. Waiting for the rice to soak will KILL me!
· Melissa · nytefalle.com/blog
Dec 09, 2012 · 6:17 PM
Hope you enjoy it, Wizzy!
Melissa, zomg, loooove champong! I could go for a huge bowl myself…
Dec 14, 2012 · 4:04 PM
First of all, you have a great blog. Kudos!
Secondly, I was just curious if you have any books, blogs, people, whatever to recommend for some one looking for a more globally diverse grouping of recipes. I’d really be interested in studying some historical background to different cultures’ take on desserts and flavor, but even just some example recipes would be greatly appreciated.
I’m just starting my journey in this direction, so if you know anyone else who wouldn’t mind fielding a few similar questions, please point me in their direction.
I was going to email you to not clog up your comments, but I couldn’t find an address.
Dec 16, 2012 · 10:45 AM
@Skeuomorph, comments are a-okay by me, but I’ve got my email address on the About page too, under my bio, if you ever want to write that way after all. You should check out a book called “Sweet Invention.” There aren’t many (if any) recipes, but it covers the history of dessert from a global perspective and might give you some leads on avenues to explore.
Most of the things I learned about global desserts came from my courses at school, so I don’t know of too many good resources for you in the blog/book world, unfortunately. All of my Japanese dessert books are in Japanese, so I can’t recommend any favorites there for you either.
@Martha, oh, yaaaayy!! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it! I’ve been making devil’s food and fudge frosting every day for two weeks, and was hoping I’d finally landed on a final recipe. I think I’m there!!