Monthly Archives: August 2010

Oyakodon (chicken & egg on rice)

Have you ever heard of a Japanese dish called Oyakodon 親子丼?

It is a quick and easy dish to prepare. One Monday evening, I left work quite late and was hungry, but wanted to eat at home to relax. On my way home I thought about some leftover noodle soup (mixture of bonito broth, soy sauce, sake & mirin) in my fridge as well as frozen chicken and rice in the freezer. I always have eggs in the fridge, so decided to spend 15 minutes in front of the kitchen counter to fix up Oyakodon.

All you need for two servings are:

– 200g chicken thigh (chopped into bite size pieces. better to have some skin for extra flavour)
– Half an onion (thinly sliced)
– 100ml fish broth (freshly made broth from bonito flakes, or you can use the broth powder and melt it into boiled water)
– Soy sauce (approx. 2 tbsp)
Sake (approx. 1 tbsp)
Mirin (approx. 3 tbsp) + sprinkle of sugar if preferred
– 3 eggs
– Rice and some Mitsuba leaves (trefoil) or Nori seaweed


1) In a frying pan, fry the onion slices (with some cooking oil if you have) until it starts sweating and translucent
2) Add the chicken and cook for a few minutes until lightly brown
3) Add the sake, stir, and then the broth, soy sauce and mirin into the pan (the liquid mixture should just cover the surface of all the ingredients in the pan)
4) Bring it to boil, add sugar, cook for another minute or so
5) Taste the sauce – if it is too salty, add a bit more sake/mirin/sugar. If it’s too blunt, add a little more soy sauce and a bit more sugar. Adjust according to the consistency of your sauce
6) In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, and sprinkle the egg mixture onto the boiling ingredients in the pan (make some circles)
7) Put the lid on the pan, turn the flame off, and let it rest for a few minutes
8) In two medium serving bowls put freshly cooked (or freshly defrosted in my case) rice, gently place the oyakodon mixture along with the sauce
9) Sprinkle the chopped mitsuba leaves or nori seaweed on top of the mixture to add an extra colour and a kick to the taste

All the process above takes only 15 minutes or so.

The name “oyakodon(親子丼)” comes from oya (meaning parent, in this case “chicken”) and ko (child, and here referring “egg”), and don (bowl)…. oya-ko-don. Chicken & egg on a bowl of rice.

There you go!

happy pizza

from time to time, i make pizza at home. whenever i suggest to make pizza, my husband gets overjoyed. i don’t know what the power it possesses, but it seems to me that the feeling is quite universal. i’ve never experienced a strong “no” against the offer for pizza from anyone before. i wonder what it is with pizza – is it the handiness or the greasiness, or is it the idea of eating junky food which somehow rejuvenates yourself?

whatever it is, pizza makes people happy. tonight, i believe, i have succeeded in making one person happy.



2 small sized pizza doughs, slightly grazed with extra virgin olive oil & tomato sauce (i use a can of tomatoes, strained, no spice/salt added)

heat the oven to 240 C

*** 1st version: mushroom & white asparagus pizza

– 6 mushrooms, thinly sliced
– 5 white asparagus, lightly boiled and cut into 3 pieces each
– a half of mozzarella cheese
– sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil
– salt & pepper to taste

place the ingredients above neatly on top of the dough, in the order above, and bake it in the oven for 12 minutes or so.

*** 2nd version: chorizo (or salsiccia picante) pizza

– 2 chorizo sausages, pulled apart into pieces with fingers
– sprinkle of thyme (dry)
– a half of mozzarella cheese
– sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil
– salt & pepper to taste

place the ingredients above neatly on top of the dough, in the order above, and bake it in the oven for 12 minutes or so.



il estate italiano (italian summer)

it’s a friday night! although the heat has mitigated a bit in the late august, the humidity is still there in tokyo. on the way back from work, i stopped at a grocery store and found a pack of super fresh sardine, intended for the use as sashimi. i could’ve done a japanese dish with it, but no, had to improvise something which goes very well with ice cold white wine.

today’s menu is very summery. starting with il prosciuto e melone (parma ham and melon), i spaghettini alla puttanesca (with the fresh sardine – grilled in the japanese gas grill) as a main dish, and on the side, la insalata del estate (an improvisation with celery, lettuce, tuna fish and boiled egg, in french vinegriette). all of the dishes are quite refreshing, with some summer ingredient(s), and perfect marriage with il vino bianco secco.

my trick for the puttanesca sauce is to have a perfect balance of garlic, hot chili pepper, olives, capers, anchovies and salt. it cannot be too salty or too blunt. the proportion tonight was not too bad, which was roughly:

3 table spoons of olive oil (extra virgin of course),
1 hot chili pepper (sliced),
1 clove of garlic (smashed),
16 olives (halved),
2 table spoons of capers,
4 filets of anchovies,
salt & pepper to taste (only if necessary, especially the salt)
and 40 cherry tomatos

that’s about it.

the salad i made was inspired by the “goya” salad which we once had at an asian fusion restaurant in our neighbourhood called “tahiti“. goya is extremely bitter squash which is often eaten in okinawa, the southern island of japan. tonight, i didn’t have the goya, but instead used celery which can be quite bitter. the taste tranquilizer is the hard boiled egg. after mixing all the ingredients, all i have to do is to sprinkle the grated boiled egg on top of it. it is both visually and tastefully appealing!