Friday, December 23, 2011

Aburi Chicken Oyakodon

Been wanting to make this Oyakodon recipe for a while (the youtube clip is in Japanese). The twist is that the chicken (boneless thigh portion) is quick aburi grilled on the skin side so to give the dish that subtle char flavor component. A good trick to know when you've become bored of the traditional all-simmered taste.

I only flipped the chicken over in the photo below just to show. The chicken is still completely raw and is cut up into an inch or so smaller pieces. Easier to slice skin side down and the crackly sound it made as I cut through was so awesome. Unfortunately this wonderful texture will be gone in the eventual simmer but the smokey flavor will remain which is what we're after.

The second twist to the recipe is that it calls for Gobo burdock root. Negi (welsh onion, sometimes called Japanese leeks) are also added but the ubiquitous sliced yellow onions are not used. The Gobo is "shaved" sasagaki style with the tip of your knife. Kinda like how you'd sharpen a stick (for battle with vampires??) but with much less effort needed. The shaved Gobo rests in cold water to extract some of the unwanted aku. Strain well before using.

The golden ratio for Don-tsuyu simmer broth is 4:1:1. Four parts dashi stock, 1 part Soy Sauce and 1 part Mirin Japanese cooking wine. When I'm super duper lazy I sometimes use soba tsuyu from the bottle. The flavor will be slightly different but close enough and does the job when in desperation.
The Gobo goes in first since the root takes a little longer to cook than the rest of the ingredients. I won't go into detaills the rest of the cooking process but you can search "oyakodon" in youtube and get a ton of hits. I particularly enjoy the "Cooking with Dog" series (which is in English). Mitsuba (Japanese parsley?) sprinkled at the end, stems and all.

One home oyakodon post, done!

[Update: Since did a revenge redo that turned out a lot better!]