Friday, May 27, 2011

Japanese Menu - Oyakodon

Menu Taste and Personal Experience:

Japanese Menu Oyakodon
Oyakodon Set Menu
Oyakodon was actually my very first Japanese menu that I tried so this menu really has a special meaning for me. This menu makes me fall in love with Japanese food. Making it was actually quite simple but the taste and smell is really delicious. Even though the actual taste itself is delicious enough, if I ordered this menu in a restaurant, I would always add chili powder on top of the toppings since I really like my food to be spicy. Also do not forget to have miso soup as a side, they really complement well with each other. I can say without doubt that this is my favourite donburi :).

Menu Description:

Japanese Menu OyakodonOyakodon is actually a donburi (Japanese rice bowl dish), in which chicken, onions, eggs and other ingredients are all simmered together in donburi sauce and then served on top of a bowl of rice. The name of the dish, parent and child donburi, is a poetic reflection of the fact that both chicken and egg are used in the dish. In Japan, oyakodon is often served in soba restaurants and other traditional Japanese restaurants.
The donburi simmering sauce varies according to season, ingredient, region, and taste. A typical sauce might consist of dashi flavored with shoyu (soy sauce) and mirin. Proportions vary, but usually there is three to four times as much dashi as shoyu and mirin. For oyakodon, Tsuji (1980) recommends dashi flavored with light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sugar.

Menu Ingredients:
(Makes 4 small bowls of oyakodon)
  • Cooked rice as needed
  • 400 grams og chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 3/4 cups dashi soup stock (can also be replaced with powdered dashi/katsuobushi boiled in water)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp mirin (japanese sweet rice wine, usually used for cooking)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 7 tbsp soy sauce
  • nori dried seaweed *optional

Menu Directions:

    Japanese Menu Oyakodon
  1. Pour dashi soup stock in a pan or skillet and put on medium heat.
  2. Add mirin, sugar, and soy sauce into the soup.Stir to blend.
  3. In different pan, fry chicken until half cooked. 
  4. Add onion into the pan and stir fry until the chicken are almost cooked.
  5. Pour the soup from the other pan/skillet into the chicken and onion. Simmer on low heat for a few minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, lightly beat eggs in a bowl. Add pepper to taste (optional)
  7. Bring the soup to a boil, and pour the eggs over the mixture.
  8. Turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid.
  9. After one minute, turn off the heat.
  10. Put cooked rice into deep serving bowls, then serve the cooked toppings on top. Sprinkle strips of dried seaweed on top (optional).

Menu Related Videos:

How to make oyakodon: 

A Chef cooking oyakodon: 

Another style to cook oyakodon: 

Menu Sources and References:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Japanese Menu - Yakitori

Menu Taste and Personal Experience:

Hmm what can I say about this dish, so many things actually. Just imagine the succulent chicken thigh marinated and basted with the sweet and savory sauce, combine it with fresh spring onion, grill them in piping hot charcoal ... ahh.. so heavenly!!
Whenever I went to a Japanese restaurant, I will almost certainly tried their yakitori. Even though I did experience some bad tasting yakitori like undercooked meat, really salty sauce, etc. But if you manage to taste the good ones, you won't stop thinking about it, just like me :)

Menu Description:

Japanese Menu Yakitori
Yakitori is a type of Japanese skewered chicken. The term Yakitori can also refer to skewered food in general. Kushiyaki (skewer grilled), is a formal term that encompasses both poultry and non-poultry items, skewered and grilled. Both Yakitori and Kushiyaki mean the same, so the terms are used interchangeably in Japanese society.

Yakitori is made from several bite-sized pieces of meat (usually chicken) and vegetables skewered on a bamboo skewer and grilled, usually over charcoal.

Diners ordering yakitori usually have a choice of having it cooked with salt (shio) or with tare sauce, which is generally made up of mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar. The sauce is applied to the skewered meat and is grilled until delicately cooked. According to urban legend, there are chefs who refuse to clean the pot. In theory, they just add new ingredients every day to the same pot and never throw away the old sauce. It is said that some chefs have been using the same pot since the establishment of the restaurant. By doing that, the sauce is supposed to become more concentrated.

Yakitori is the perfect culinary match for beer. If that alone doesn't convince you that yakitori is delightfully in all regards, the bear in mind that it's an inherently fun food
Japanese Menu Yakitori
In the 1950's (post war era), the spread of chicken broilers which were brought by the US occupation helped cut the cost of chicken meat. This helped yakitori to gain its popularity in Japan.
Nowadays, Yakitori is widely loved for its delicious taste and low price. Some restaurants are seeking to differentiate themselves from others by using the region's specially bred chicken, such as “Coochin”, “Shamo”, and “Hinaidori”.

Common Poultry Dishes

* hatsu or kokoro, chicken heart
* rebā, liver
* sunagimo, or zuri, chicken gizzard
* tsukune, chicken meatballs
* kawa, chicken skin, grilled until crispy
* tebasaki, chicken wing
* bonjiri, chicken tail
* shiro, chicken small intestines
* nankotsu, chicken cartilage
* toriniku, all white meat on skewer

Japanese Menu Yakitori ChefCommon non-poultry dishes

* ikada (lit. raft), Japanese scallion, with two skewers to prevent rotation
* gyūtan, ox tongue, sliced thinly
* atsuage tōfu, deep-fried tofu
* enoki maki, enoki mushrooms wrapped in slices of  pork
* pīman, green pepper
* asuparabēkon, asparagus wrapped in bacon
* butabara, pork belly
* ninniku, garlic

Menu Ingredients:
(Makes 4 – 6 Yakitori)

• Chicken thigh fillets (1kg), cut into 2.5 cm cubes
• Spring onions/Leeks, cut into 2.5 cm lengths (can also be changed to other vegetables to your liking, eg: cherry tomato or paprika)
• Bamboo skewers

Yakitori sauce (makes 2 cups)

• 6 table spoons sake
• 3/4 cup dark soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 3 table spoons Morita Mirin Seasoning
• 2 table spoons sugar
• ½ table spoons of chicken stock (powder)

Menu Directions:

• Soak skewers in cold water for 15 minutes. Drain.
• Meanwhile, combine all Yakitori Sauce (refer above) ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Allow to cool completely.
• Thread chicken and onions onto skewers. Place onto a plate. Brush with sauce.
• Grill skewers over charcoal (recommended because it gives yakitori its unique scent and taste) while basting them with sauce, for 6 to 8 minutes or until cooked through. Can be served with rice.

Menu Related Videos:

How to make Yakitori: 

Yakitori Vendor: 

Yakitori bar: 

Menu Sources and References: