Japanese food was not something I had a chance to try until I was well into my adulthood. Kit loves Japanese food and introduced me to it when we met. I don’t have the same unbridled passion for it that he does. But certain dishes I have fallen in love with. Japanese cooking is not all Sushi and Bento.

This Chicken Donburi (which means rice bowl) is eggy and sweet and a favourite with Japanese children. It’s an often cooked family dish. Not fancy Japanese restaurant fare, but good home cooking.

Once you get the hang of it and get into a rhythm making it, it’s a very simple process. Real comfort food Japanese style. If you are not all that adventurous and tend to stick to western type food, I would strongly encourage you to try this, it’s very easy to like and to make. Think of it as a chicken omelette over rice.

I’ve adapted the recipe from a book that our Japanese exchange student gave to me, called Japanese family cooking, written by Hiroko Urakami. None of the ingredients are hard to source.
They are all able to be purchased in the supermarket in the Asian foods section.

You could make a vegetarian version substituting miso soup for the dashi and tofu for the chicken if you wish. Not authentic, but a good alternative.

First you cook your rice, make your broth and keep these warm while you do your topping for one serving at a time. I am sure you could do the whole lot at once in a larger pan, it would just not look as elegant when you serve it.

Oyako Donburi

Serves 4

Rice

  • 2 1/2 cups of short grain Japanese rice cooked to make 7 cups of steamed rice.

Cook your rice according to package directions and keep warm.

Broth

  • 1 1/2 cups dashi broth
  • 6 Tblspns sweet soy sauce
  • 2 Tblspns white sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tblspns Mirin

Heat together and keep warm, but not simmering or it will evaporate.

Topping

  • 160 grams/6 oz boneless chicken cut into bite sized pieces (or firm tofu)
  • one small brown onion finely sliced
  • 2 small green onions cut diagonally
  • 4 eggs
  • Nori seaweed finely sliced for garnish (I use scissors to cut this)

Into a small frying pan over medium heat, tip just over a 1/4 of a cup of your broth

Add in 1/4 of your chicken and 1/4 of your onions (both kinds) and cook for 3 or so minutes until cooked through

Beat one egg in a small bowl and tip over the top of the chicken, onion mixture in the pan, swirl a little with a fork to mix slightly and leave to cook until your egg is done.

Place one serving of rice in a bowl and slide your cooked chicken and egg mixture over the top, garnish with the nori. Serve right away.

Repeat this process for the remaining servings.

I really enjoy making and eating this very comforting dish, I’m sure you will too.