Oyakodon

One of the most popular dishes across of all Japan whether you’re in a restaurant or at home, also happens to be one of the easiest to make and needs only a small handful of basic store cupboard ingredients.  An incredibly soothing, rich and soulful meal that tastes like you’ve known it all of your life even on your first time eating it.  Oyakodon- literally meaning ‘parent and child rice bowl’- is a satisfyingly large and filling bowl of rice, topped with succulent pieces of chicken thigh and onion, coated in a smooth and brothy mixture of dashi and barely set eggs.  Each mouthful of this creamy chicken feast is slightly different as the egg continues to cook with the heat of the rice, so whilst the first bite might bring back memories of boiled eggs and soldiers for breakfast, the second could be a roast dinner and the third a warming bowl of hot rice pudding- is it any wonder that oyakodon is so comforting when every one of these dishes has the power to make you recall childhood memories?

Thought to have been invented in a Tokyo restaurant in the late 1800s, the poetic name which references the chicken and egg components of the dish led to the creation of the equally-delicious Tanindon or ‘unrelated person rice bowl’, which replaces the parental chicken with thinly sliced pieces of unrelated beef.  Our recipe works just as well for this version of the dish too, just substitute in slices of either pork or beef and continue as normal.

 

 

oyakodon
Oyakodon: comforting and soupy parent and child rice bowl.

 

 

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Chāshūdon

Owing its heritage to char siu- the bright red, five-spice seasoned barbecued pork served in Cantonese restaurants, chāshū has become perhaps the world’s favourite ramen topping.  This is of course for good reason, meltingly tender succulent meat, braised at a low temperature for hours until the tough connective tissues and collagen have turned into silky soft gelatin, yielding to the slightest pressure from a chopstick.  The sweet, juicy layers of fat and moist, savoury meat are enhanced further by leaving them in a soy and sake seasoned broth overnight before being thinly sliced and seared in a hot pan to reawaken the glistening fats and juices hiding within the pork.

Chāshū isn’t only enjoyed with soup and noodles however, and one of our favourite ways to eat it is on top of a big bowl of rice as a chāshūdon.  Combined with other noodle toppings such as boiled eggs, pink pickled ginger and spicy Korean radish kimchi, you have a dish that gives you the same satisfaction as a deep bowl of brothy noodles but with a lot less effort.

 

chashudon
Chashudon- all your favourite ramen toppings, on rice.

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