It’s a little ironic that I’ve been eating a lot of Japanese food in France. With a limited kitchen (no oven and an electric stovetop), it’s just easier to make really simple dishes and Japanese food fits that mold. Chinese food requires high heat and a wok to make excellent stir-fry. The oil tends to splash out a lot. I haven’t been motivated to deal with that mess in my kitchen.
This week, I made sushi (for the first time), oyakodon and soba noodles with chicken and broccoli.
My classmate taught me how to make sushi and it truly is an art. He had a special way of making the Japanese rice that involved washing, draining, soaking, cooking and then covering it with a moist towel to make it perfect. After he mixed in the sushi vinegar, we were ready to go! For the filling, we used imitation crab (which is surprisingly quite abundant in France), carrots, avocado, cucumber, tuna mixed with Japanese mayonnaise and a special egg concoction (dashi broth was involved). You will need one of those bamboo sheets to roll the sushi and make it perfect. It was a lot of fun (and also very delicious).
One of my favorite dishes is oyakodon, which is basically chicken and egg over rice. I used to always order whenever I saw it in a Japanese restaurant. It’s so simple, but really “homey”-tasting. Earlier this year, I researched multiple recipes and finally attempted to make the dish on my own. I was SO happy with the end product. Since moving to France, I’ve already made oyakodon twice and I thought I would share my recipe. I don’t even have the same ingredients in France (no Mirin or green onions), but it’s still turned out pretty good!
- 1 package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (you then cut into 1-2 inch cubes)
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 1 cup of soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons of Mirin rice wine (You can get it at Safeway; Trader Joe’s won’t have it)
- 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1 whole onion (sliced thinly)
- 3-4 green onions/scallions (cut into 1-2 inch pieces)
- 4 eggs (scrambled in a bowl)
- Cooked brown or white rice
- Seaweed (optional)
- Bring chicken broth, soy sauce, rice wine and brown sugar to a simmer in a large saucepan
- Add onion and green onions, let cook for 5 minutes over medium heat
- Add chicken and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes
- Bring mixture to a boil, add eggs, cover mixture, turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes
- Scoop on top of rice and add shredded seaweed if desired