oyakodon

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Where did the time go?  One minute it felt like summer was starting and now here it is, deep into fall.  School is back in session and extracurriculars are in full swing.  I don’t know about you but for me, the schedule changes in my kids’ activities are anxiety-inducing periods of time in my year.  I fear the new schedule and all the adjustments that will have to be made.  Thankfully, my son has decided to take football off this fall so he was actually home a few nights a week which allowed for some much needed mother-son time.  I enjoy cooking in the kitchen while he works on homework in our dining room.  It’s almost exactly the picture I imagined as a young girl when I envisioned my future as a mom.  There have been a few stretches recently where I was in a cooking slump…just not super excited or motivated!  I usually try to mix up our meals – Asian, Latin, Italian, American…. I try not to make the same genre of food two night in a row.  I think my family would love for me to cook Korean more often but I find it the most daunting at times because I always feel you need to make several side dishes (banchan) to go with a Korean meal and I never have the time/energy to make all that!  I was in one of these funks when I saw this recipe for Oyakodon.

I’d already made tacos and pasta this particular week so I know the troops would probably appreciate some rice!  I doubled the recipe and it worked out perfectly. Why? Because I had leftovers!  In reality, you probably won’t need to double it for a family of 4 but I have some big eaters in my house. It was absolute comfort food!  Warm, hearty, delicious, quick and easy! Also, I had all the ingredients on hand, which is the best feeling.  The family raved about this, saying that it tasted so authentic and even better than the restaurant version!  With the weather starting to cool , I highly recommend you make this dish, pronto!! It’s a keeper!

Oyakodon

recipe from Two Red Bowls

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken thighs, rinsed, patted dry, and sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar (or a smidge more, if you’re like me and love your savory foods sweet)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions (about 1 small onion)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-2 tbsp shredded fresh parsley or sliced scallions, for garnish
  • 2-3 cups cooked rice (or however much you’d like for two)

Instructions

  1. In a 9- or 10-inch skillet, bring the mirin and sake to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, and sugar, and bring to a boil again, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Once the mixture comes back to a boil, evenly distribute the onions and chicken, then lower the heat to medium and let simmer for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Skim off any fat that may form on top.
  3. Once the chicken is cooked, gently beat the eggs for about 10 seconds in a small bowl, or until yolks are partially beaten but egg white remains visible. Drizzle about 3/4 of the egg evenly over the chicken, then cover and let cook for about a minute. Drizzle the remaining egg into the pan, then cover and cook until eggs are opaque, another minute or two. It should form a loosey-goosey, custard-y kind of omelette in the pan.
  4. Finally, sprinkle shredded parsley over the chicken just before serving, then remove from heat. Divide the rice evenly between two bowls, then use a slotted spatula to scoop the chicken and egg mixture onto the rice. Spoon a bit of the leftover juice in the pan over the rice, then garnish with extra parsley or scallions (and an extra egg yolk if you’re feeling decadent!) and enjoy hot.

 

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chicken and eggplant stir fry 

I love eggplant.  It’s one of my absolute favorite veggies.  I always order it when I go out because hubs doesn’t really like it and neither do my kids.  I especially like it at Chinese restaurants and have tried to make it at home like the Chinese restaurants…sadly, mine never came out the same. I asked my friend’s mom, who is an amazing cook (and Chinese), how to make Chinese-style eggplant and she straight up told me – you won’t do it at home because to get it the way you like, all soft and delicious, would take so much oil that you’d faint.  I was like,”Oil??? What?!?!” Um, yes… apparently the dish I like needs an insane amount of oil. So, no more Chinese restaurant eggplant! But this dish comes pretty darn close without all the oil.

Let me say something here.  I am a recipe girl, remember?  Also, I started really cooking as an adult.  I’d talk to people early on when I was just learning to cook and they’d say things like, “I never measure…” or “Just add until it tastes right.”  That was like a nightmare for me so I’d actually tune out.  I couldn’t imagine life without the safety and comfort of recipe measurements.  But sure enough, over time and with enough practice, I can now guesstimate ingredient quantities and season to taste without freaking out. This is one of those recipes.  I saw it somewhere but I’ve made it my own just by adding more seasonings to taste.  The trick is this (and it may be obvious but I’ll say it anyways) – start small.  You can always add but it’s so much harder to make things less salty or less sweet!  Be conservative and keep adding in small increments until you are more comfortable.  I will add some basic measurements but this dish is really by taste.  Also, it’s a perfect example of something that tastes amazing but looks so blah.

Another funny tidbit about this dish. When I made this there were leftovers which let me pack enough for me, hubs’ and daughter’s lunch. I made hub’s portion mostly chicken, mine mostly eggplant and daughter’s a balance but with a little more chicken than eggplant. When I picked her up from school, I asked how her lunch was and she said it was good except she wished there was more eggplant.  I said “Oh no! I purposely took all the eggplant because I thought you’d prefer more chicken!” She burst into tears (no joke) and said she LOVES the eggplant and now she has to wait until the next time I make it (which I already shared will probably be in a few months).  So, I guess this dish is tear-worthy!!!  🙂

Chicken and Eggplant Stir-fry

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
Salt and pepper
1 eggplants, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch thick plank like pieces
1 onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1-2 teaspoons sugar

*I added several shakes of gochugaru, korean pepper flakes, because I tend to add it to anything Asian but this is completely optional and I’ve done it many times without!

DIRECTIONS

Cut chicken breasts into 1-2 inch long pieces, however you like your stir fry to look.  I tend to make them long like the sliced onion, bell pepper and eggplant.

Heat wok on high heat.  Add oil to wok.  Then add garlic and ginger and cook about a minute or when the garlic starts to brown but NOT burn!  Add in chicken and cook a few minutes until almost cooked through.  Add in all the veggies.  Cook about 3-5 minutes until everything is cooked through.

Add soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and if using, gochugaru.  Stir and mix until all the flavors are combined.  Serve over or with white rice!

asian style pork

This has been a crazy week!  Actually, this spring season is pretty crazy. My son’s baseball season just started this week and it’s also competition time for my daughter’s dance studio and she’s tacked on softball as well!  Every day of the week the kids have some activity.  Some days they both have activities so we are in a flurry of drop offs and pick ups.  So how do we eat together?  Well, sometimes we need to just eat take out. And some nights, we eat very late (like 7:30pm) but those are the things we do so we can sit around the table together as a family.  After being on the go all week and stressing out about daughter’s first dance competition of the season this coming weekend, I wanted to end the week with a really quick and easy meal.  Every time a new season of sports begins, it takes us a minute to adjust to the pace but we’ll get there.  This week was a trial and it beat us all down, especially me!  So to satisfy the family, I knew they would want rice. White, sticky, Korean style rice.  And I had some pork chops in the fridge that I needed to use up so I threw this all together and it disappeared into happy mouths and stomachs! It’s a 2 step recipe – try it!

Asian style pork

  • 1 lb. pork ( I had pork cutlets)
  • 1 tbsp  oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp sriracha  (adjust this to how spicy you like things)
Instructions
  1. Mix together the soy sauce, honey, sugar, garlic, sesame oil, ginger and sriracha. Pour over pork chops and let marinade for about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add pork chops, without marinade, and cook for about 5 minutes on the first side- let it get golden. Flip the pork chops and pour the remaining marinade over them. Cook another 5 min on this side.

Note: See how in the picture there are slices of pork?  Usually I’m in such a hurry that after I cook pork almost through on both sides, I will cut the meat up with kitchen shears in the pan so it will cook faster and I don’t have to cut the meat at the table for the kids.  Do I do this when I cook steak? No! But in a dish like this where the marinade really takes on more of the flavor than the pork, I’m fine with it! It’s a weekday cooking hack for myself!

I usually make the rice first so it has time to cook and set before I start in on the meat. I do this anytime I’m cooking any type of rice!