Sunday, September 11, 2011

Browning is Such Sweet Savoryness

Oyako-don is a great Japanese home-cooking/comfort food dish. Even though my first encounter with it was one of those supermarket prepared-food meals, it was tasty and the concept really appealed to me. Well, the concept of the basic combination of chicken and egg as food for a dish... The name of the dish is interesting: oyako literally means "parent and child" (and don refers to rice, more fully called donburi for rice bowl). A clever name, though, as a friend pointed out, kind of morbid. It starts getting a little weird when you think about tanin-donburi, which means "stranger rice bowl", and is egg with beef instead of chicken. But what's in a name? It's all delicious.

Well, it turns out, someone even added a description of how to make the dish on the wikipedia page for it. The version I followed is from the Asian Grandmothers Cookbook, though I vary the proportions, generally with a little more chicken and scallion and less sugar. Japanese cuisine likes sweetness! This time I added too much chicken...ah well.

On the other hand, what turned out great about this particular rendition is that I browned the chicken before adding it in to the simmering dashi. The added umami from the browning was excellent! Well, I suppose browning in general is awesome for the extra savoryness, and I understand that sometimes people want to keep flavors lighter. In this case, though, I think it was a great addition, though it requires the extra step and oil.

Heheh, too much chicken/not enough egg. Didn't properly compensate for the extra chicken with extra dashi. Not necessary, but the soup is a great part of the dish.

Hmm, I foresee more limited blogging, whether by shorter posts or less frequently in the future. School's starting up again.


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