Hi friends! Happy 2016! How are you faring and/or eating this week? I’ve been ping-ponging between something like I must consume the healthiest superfood in the world, my stomach is drowning in butter and please don’t make me go cold turkey, my stomach needs more butter. After a little of each (hi there, Sunday night’s delivery pizza), I think this oyakodon is, happily, somewhere in between — something to comfort my butter-addled belly but still good for it, too. Oyakodon is always what comes to mind when I think of healing comfort food. A custard-y chicken and egg rice bowl, it’s warm, gently simmered, soft and savory. I first had it in the depths of a Boston winter on a sniffly sick day; it was one of our favorite meals in Japan after a rainy morning. It’s a homey, simple back-to-basics meal that just makes you feel cozy and good after a marathon of holiday eating, and especially now that winter has finally landed in New York (and getting myself out the door in the morning is looking like this), I feel like it’s pretty much perfect for that hug-in-a-bowl, comforting-but-nourishing in-between.
I expected that making oyakodon at home would be much harder than it was! But on top of how cozily delicious it is, it’s the simplest, 30-minute, one-pan meal, so easy to get right that I was amazed the first time I tried it. It’s just tender bites of chicken and sweet, jammy onions in a deeply savory mirin and soy sauce broth, simmered in a silky, eggy custard and ladled, soft and loosey-goosey, over fluffy white rice. The traditional version uses dashi stock, but if you (like me) often don’t have any on hand, a good, low-sodium chicken broth works just as well in my experience. You can keep the egg slightly runny as per tradition or cook it all the way through, use a lighter or darker soy sauce (mine was especially dark, as you can tell) depending on how salty you want it, and it all comes out just fine. The end result is hearty but not too heavy, a super gentle, true version of comfort food, and the perfect soft landing back into good-for-you things.
I hope you’re having an equally soft landing back into work and real life this week! Happy first week of 2016!
This post is in collaboration with Whole Foods Market. You can find the 365 brand chicken broth I used here or any other 365 Everyday Value product at Whole Foods for 10% off from January 15 to January 17, and see a few more of their 365 brand products put to good use here next week, too. Thank you to Whole Foods for sponsoring this post!
adapted from Nami at Just One Cookbook.
- 2 chicken thighs, rinsed, patted dry, and sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 2 tbsp sake
- 1 cup 365 Organic Low-Sodium Chicken Broth (see Notes)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar (or a smidge more, if you’re like me and love your savory foods sweet)
- 1 cup thinly sliced onions (about 1 small onion)
- 3 large eggs
- 1–2 tbsp shredded fresh parsley or sliced scallions, for garnish
- 2–3 cups cooked rice (or however much you’d like for two)
- In a 9- or 10-inch skillet, bring the mirin and sake to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, and sugar, and bring to a boil again, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Once the mixture comes back to a boil, evenly distribute the onions and chicken, then lower the heat to medium and let simmer for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Skim off any fat that may form on top.
- Once the chicken is cooked, gently beat the eggs for about 10 seconds in a small bowl, or until yolks are partially beaten but egg white remains visible. Drizzle about 3/4 of the egg evenly over the chicken, then cover and let cook for about a minute. Drizzle the remaining egg into the pan, then cover and cook until eggs are opaque, another minute or two. It should form a loosey-goosey, custard-y kind of omelette in the pan.
- Finally, sprinkle shredded parsley over the chicken just before serving, then remove from heat. Divide the rice evenly between two bowls, then use a slotted spatula to scoop the chicken and egg mixture onto the rice. Spoon a bit of the leftover juice in the pan over the rice, then garnish with extra parsley or scallions (and an extra egg yolk if you’re feeling decadent!) and enjoy hot.
The most authentic version of this will use dashi rather than chicken broth, but I tend to substitute broth most of the time, since I find that broth makes for just as tasty of a dish if you don’t have dashi on hand or the time to make it from scratch. Nami has some wonderful recipes for homemade dashi, too, in case you’d like to go the whole nine yards! She recommends the awase dashi for oyakodon.
If you use a raw egg yolk at the end, be sure to use pasteurized eggs!