Japan Eats

Recipe: Seafood oyakodon

A seafood version of the classic Japanese rice bowl

Oyakodon (‘parent and child rice bowl’) is a Japanese lunch time favorite. Made with chicken and egg on a bed of rice, it has a sweet soy flavor.

This version uses salmon instead of chicken and salmon roe in place of an egg.

Salted salmon is easy to come by in Japan, but if you’re having trouble finding it, sprinkle salt onto fresh salmon.

Seafood oyakodon

Seafood oyakodon

Ingredients (serves 2 people)

  • 2 bowls of cooked rice
  • 200 g salted salmon
  • 40 g ikura marinated in soy sauce
  • 20 g radish sprouts
  • 10 sheets of shiso (green perilla)
  • Half a sheet of nori (dried laver)
  • 2 tea spoons of sesame seeds

Method

Grill the salmon and break it into flakes. Carefully roast the sesame seeds on a low heat. Cut the radish sprouts 2 cm wide and roll the shiso and slice into 1 mm thin strips.

Cut the nori into pieces 3 – 5 cm wide, then place these in a stack and cut into 1 – 2 mm strips with scissors.

Scoop rice into a bowl and sprinkle sesame seeds over its surface. Lay the salmon flakes on the center, then decorate the area around the salmon with the radish sprouts.

Place the thinly sliced shiso on the salmon flakes and then add the ikura over the shiso.

Finally, sprinkle the strips of nori over the ikura as artfully as possible to garnish the dish.

Recipe: Salmon donburi

A quick and easy rice bowl

What is the best accompaniment for raw fish?

Most Japanese agree that when eating fish such as sashimi or sushi, blue fish should be eaten with ginger or perhaps ponzu. Other types of fish with wasabi or salt.

There are also various condiments which can be used alongside those flavors mentioned above. Aojiso (also known as ooba – green perilla), hojiso (spikes of shiso), chives, mioga, etc.

Salmon Donburi

Salmon donburi

For this donburi, wasabi would be the perfect compliment for the salmon. The fish is served with lots of daikon sprouts and sesame seeds. The sharpness of the daikon sprouts emphasizes the salmon’s sweetness and the sesame adds flavor.

And in case you’re wondering, in Japan this rice bowl is referred to as salmon-don (サーモン丼) and not sake-don (鮭丼) as one might expect.

Ingredients (makes 4 rice bowls)

Sumeshi

  • 3 cups of rice ( become 4 bowls of sumeshi)
  • 1/2 a cup of rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Topping

  • 200 g of salmon (sashimi)
  • 200 g of daikon sprouts (2 packages)
  • 2 table spoons of sesame seeds (roasted)
  • 2 tea spoons of sesame seeds (roasted)
  • 10 g of aojiso (green perilla – 20 sheets)

Method

First, you will need to prepare the sushi rice. Fill a bowl with cold water and add the rice. Stir it quickly and pour off the white liquid immediately. Pour the cold water into the bowl again, press the rice with the heal of your palm repeatedly and pour off the white liquid.

Repeat the procedure 3-4 times till the water becomes almost clear (it doesn’t necessarily have to be perfectly clear) and drain on a sieve for 30 mins.

Pour the rice into a rice cooker and add water according to the machines’ instructions. Cook the rice. Once the rice is done, allow it to rest in the machine for 10 minutes.

Pour the ingredients for the sushi vinegar into a small pan. Warm over a low heat so that the sugar and salt have completely dissolved. Turn off the gas and allow the liquid to cool.

When the rice is ready, open the rice cooker and transfer the rice into a wooden bowl moistened with water. Sprinkle the sushi vinegar over the rice, making sure that the liquid is spread evenly.

Toss the rice with downward cutting strokes until the rice cools. Add two tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds, mixing them with the rice.

Now place approximately one cup of the cooked rice into a serving bowl. As you do this, bear in mind that both the flavor and texture of the dish come from the ingredients layered on top – don’t overdo the amount of rice.

Place a 1/4 of the daikon sprouts on top of the rice.

Slice the salmon into 3-4 mm slices by pulling the knife toward you. Place it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve the donburi.

Place 4 or 5 strips of salmon onto the bed of sprouts. When you do this, it looks better if you fold the slices into two.

Next, slice the aojiso into thin strips and place these gently on top of the salmon.

Finally sprinkle the 1/2 tea spoon of sesame seeds over the rice bowl. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi in a small dish.