Japan Eats

Recipe: Teriyakidon (chicken teriyaki rice bowl)

A classic Japanese rice bowl that’s a cinch to prepare.

Donburi, rice bowls topped with fish, meat or vegetables, are one of Japan’s most popular lunchtime meals. Their appeal lies in the fact that they are quick to prepare and can be made from just about anything.

This recipe calls for rice topped with chicken coated in a delicious teriyaki sauce. The addition of pickled ginger ties the dish together beautifully.

Teriyakidon

Teriyakidon

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 100 – 120 g green onion
  • 300 g chicken thigh
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 20 – 30 g of pickled ginger (half finely chopped, half thinly sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons of white sesame seeds

Teriyaki sauce

  • 2 tablespoons of sake
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of mirin

Method

First, cut the green onion into pieces 4 – 5 cm in length. Fry in pan on a medium heat without any oil. Once they have become brown, remove the pieces to a tray.

Prepare the chicken by chopping it into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over the chicken and let it rest for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove any liquid that comes out of the chicken with a paper towel.

Next, cover the chicken with 1 tablespoon of flour. Make sure the pieces are evenly coated.

Pour 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil into a frying pan and place this on a medium heat. Saute the chicken until it has browned on one side. Turning the chicken over, place a lid on the pan and allow the second side to cook.

Now for the teriyaki sauce. Mix the sake, soy sauce and mirin in a small bowl. When both sides of the chicken are brown remove any extra oil from the pan with a paper towel then slowly add the sauce from the edge of the frying pan. Cook until the sauce has thickened and has completely covered the chicken.

Finally, mix a bowl of cooked rice with the finely chopped ginger and 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds. Cover with a layer of chicken and garnish with the thinly sliced pickled ginger.

Recipe: Spicy soboro salad

Soboro is an ideal topping for rice, noodles or even salads.

Soboro is seasoned ground meat that’s usually eaten on rice (soborodon) or in noodle dishes such as tantanmen. It has a salty-sweet flavor, with some recipes calling for the addition of chopped ginger to balance the flavors.

For most Japanese, the word soboro conjures images of torisoboro, made from chicken which is then spread over rice and served as part of a bento. However it also makes an excellent addition to salads, particularly when they contain sprouts like those of radishes, broccoli or kale. The sprouts add a sharpness which cuts through the flavor of the seasoned meat. The following recipe uses pork and a seasoning that includes both soy sauce and doubanjiang, a Chinese paste made of fermented fava beans.

It’s important to cook the soboro immediately before preparing the salad. Mix into the salad when the soboro is still warm. It will slightly soften the leaves of the vegetables and help bind the ingredients together.

Soboro Salad

Soboro Salad

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 200 g of red cabbage
  • 50 g of red-leaved chicory
  • 50 g of red radish
  • 100 g (1 package) of radish sprouts

Soboro

  • 100 g of pork mince
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon of doubanjiang (Chinese chili bean paste)
  • 1 teaspoon of douchijiang (blackbean chili paste)
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce

Dressing

  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons of sesame oil

Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons of white sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of roughly crushed peanuts

Method

First, prepare the vegetables. Rinse the red cabbage and red-leaved chicory then slice into pieces 1 mm thick (cut against the grain). Rinse the red radishes and slice them thinly. Cut off the root part (sponge bed) of the radish sprouts, the cut them into half, leaf and stem. Use leaves later as a garnish.

Fill a large bowl with enough ice water to cover the red cabbage, red-leafed chicory, red radish and radish sprout (only the stems) and rinse the vegetables for 5 – 6 minutes before draining.

While you are refreshing the vegetables, prepare the soboro. Place a frying on the stove with a tablespoon of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic.

Turn the heat to low and saute for 1 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of doubanjiang (Chinese chili bean paste) and 1 teaspoon of douchijiang (paste) to the pan and saute till they give you the spicy aroma. Then add pork mince and turn the heat to medium, fry them till they cooked and crumbly. Finally, add ½ teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce and mix thoroughly.

Now for the dressing. Mix ½ teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar in a cup, then add 2 teaspoons of soy sauce and mix again. At the end of this process, add 3 teaspoons of sesame oil. Stir thoroughly.

Prepare the garnish by placing a frying pan on a low heat and roasting the sesame seeds slowly for 5 minutes.

Place the vegetables in a large serving bowl, then sprinkle the roasted sesame seeds and crushed peanuts over the leaves. Next, place the soboro and radish leaves on top the vegetables. Finally pour the dressing over the vegetables. Mix the whole salad evenly before eating.