Oyako Donburi (Chicken and Egg on Rice)

We had Japanese for lunch today. This is so simple to cook. I once have a not-so-close Japanese friend told me Japanese cooking is all about its simplicity and using best fresh ingredients possible. This is so true. Oyako in Japan means 'Parent & Child' and Donburi means 'Rice Bowl Dish'. This dish usually consist of chicken and egg as the main ingredients because of its poetic reflection to 'Parent & Child' (Source: Wikipedia).

In fact this whole recipe is based on Wikipedia. I didn't really know what goes into an Oyako Donburi apart from chicken and egg. To be very honest, I don't cook Japanese often but I do love eating them. I quote Wikepedia as below:

The donburi simmering sauce varies according to season ingredient, region, and taste. A typical sauce might consist of dashi flavored with shoyu 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.

To make oyakodon, cut chicken and other ingredients into bite-sized pieces. Heat 1/4 cup simmering sauce in a small frying pan. Add chicken (and sliced yellow onion, if desired) and simmer until chicken is cooked. Then add green onions and other ingredients. When all ingredients are cooked, slowly pour 1–2 lightly beaten eggs evenly over the whole dish. When eggs are nearly cooked (edges set), slide the topping from the pan onto hot cooked rice served in an oversized bowl. The hot rice will finish cooking the eggs.

I felt Mirin is very sweet and the soy sauce is not very salty unlike typical Chinese Soy Sauce. So I came up with the proportion below. And then I saw on 3hungrytummies's blog where he kept the egg yolk raw and add it in last. I like how it look and I really love creamy warm yolk so I kept the yolk and only dribble in egg whites. Here is my version of Oyakodon:

(serves 2)

Enough rice to serve 2 people, scoop into a large bowl and kept warm
2 chicken thigh fillets, cubed into large pieces
2 eggs, separated
1-2 spring onions, finely chopped and remove half for garnishing
2 small brown onion (Mine were as large as my extra large egg ), sliced into half rings

Mix together: This is your simmering sauce

1/2 cup dashi stock (I bought ready made stuffs)
1.5 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp light Kikkoman soy sauce (or Shoyu)
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce

Heat some oil in a pan and brown the chicken pieces. Set aside. Repeat with the onion slices and dish it up and set aside. You can omit this but I like to see my chicken and onions sauteed in all the dishes I eat, personal preference.

Heat half the simmering sauce in a small egg pan. Scatter over half of the sauteed onions and chicken cubes in a single layer and simmer until chicken is thoroughly cooked through. Add in half the chopped spring onions and let it cook for a minute or so. Beat the egg whites lightly and slowly dribble it over the pan evenly. Cover with a lid and simmer until egg is partially set. When eggs are nearly cooked (edges set), slide the topping from the pan onto hot cooked rice served in an oversized bowl. Make an indentation in the centre and slide in one egg yolk into the centre. The hot rice will finish cooking the eggs. Garnish with reserved chopped spring onions and serve immediately.

Repeat again to get another portion. It's quick, doesn't take long at all. If you have 2 egg pans, that would be great. We cook our own portion and eat at the same time. The creamy yolk is to die for!!!!

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Maggi Goreng (Fried Maggi Noodles)

Maggi is a type if Instant Noodle, so famous in Malaysia that all Mamaks (Hawker stalls) sells their own version of Mggi Goreng. Google Maggi Goreng and you see a gazillion of versions of this fried instant noodle popping up. Goreng means fried.

It comes in different flavours but making Maggi Goreng with curry flavour ones is pretty famous and they are to me, the most delicious one too. I recreated this version by my years of watching how those Mamak fellows do it. My sisters and I used to really like Maggi Goreng and always buy them on a weekly basis. Among ingredients that goes into a typical Maggi Goreng includes tofu puffs, greens such as choy sum, tomato wedges and egg. Some also add meat pieces to it but I've made a vegetarian one today and I use cherry tomatoes because I don't have whole tomatoes.

You can use two packets of the Curry Flavour Maggi Noodle and add one plain noodle to it (these can easily be bought from Chinatown under the brand name Vitz) or just cook for one and don't use up all the seasonings. Aaron likes his with the whole sachet of seasoning but I find it will be too salty to my liking. It's really down to how salty you can take.

Maggi Goreng
(serves 1)
One packet of Maggi Instant Noodle, curry flavour
1/2 a bunch of green vegetables, cut into 1'' length
3 wedges of tomatoes or a couple of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 a shallot, thinly sliced
1 egg
1-2 tbsp EVOO

Blanch the Maggi noodle in boiling hot water for just 1 minute. Basically, you want it to be partially cook because you will stir-fry it later. Remove from water and drain well and loosen up with fingers.

Heat up the oil in a pan and when hot, add in the shallots and toss until golden brown. Add in the tomatoes and greens and toss to cook for a while. Add in the noodles and sprinkle over the sachet of seasoning that comes with it. Toss to coat well. Push to one side and pour a little more oil in the wok and crack in the egg. When it is half set, toss the noodle back to the centre and coat and mix with the egg. Dish up and serve immediately.

Maggi goreng, my simple vegetarian version. Easy? If you want to add meat to it, add it when the shallot is lightly browned. Aaron's favourite....seriously, he can eat this every morning and still not get bored!

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Classic Nasi Lemak with Chicken Curry Kapitan

Not long ago, I mentioned here Aaron and I will be hosting a lunch dinner for a handful of good people. Really good friends in Adelaide. I couldn't think of what else to cook up for them apart from something so classical, something that represents the country I came from.

So I made a Nasi Lemak, complete with all the garnishes or topping, whatever you want to call it, except for the peanut because we both hate peanuts in our Nasi Lemak. The recipe could be found here.

The real good and spicy sambal with onion rings

Hard-boiled eggs. This one always finish in any Nasi Lemak party!

Cucumber slices. I like mine unpeeled. Feel free to peel yours.

On top of that, I have also made a Chicken Curry Kapitan to go with the Nasi Lemak. I adapted it from Ellie of Almost Bourdain. She has a very good write up on the origin of this dish and Peranakan culture so do drop by and check it out. Aaron probably chop the chicken int too small pieces. They turn into mush due to the long cooking but it wasn't overpowering nor salty. It is just very full of the herbs flavour that was used to infused it. The lemongrass taste was very strong but yeah...no one hate lemongrass...

So yeah, anyone wanna be my guest? Come find me in Adelaide! I'll do you a 3-course meal! I'm not in an way a good cook but I like playing with flavours so be prepared to be my experimental guinea pig if I were to cook for you!

Ellie, thanks for the awesome recipe, it was great and all my guests love it. And to think I took all the praises, I felt I should just share them with you! Thanks!!!!

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Thai Chicken Noodle Broth

This one makes enough to serve 2 people for a simple lunch. It is quick and easy and full of flavour. Including preparation time, the noodle soup was done in under 30 minutes. I use store bought organic stock and ready made fried shallots or you can make them your own if you have time.

Thai Chicken Broth
(loosely adapted from Woman's Day Magazine, May 2010 Edition)

250g chicken mince
1 tbsp canola oil
1 long red chillies, seeded, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1-2cm piece of ginger, peeled, finely sliced
Seasoned stock:
1.5 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tbsp brown sugar

Thai Herbs:
1 lemon grass, just use bottom white part, approximately 2'' length, bruised well
1-2 Kaffir Lime leaves

200ml coconut cream (1/2 a can)

Enough glass noodles to serve 2 people, soaked in boiling hot water
Sliced spring onion
Coriander leaves
Fried shallots
Chopped red chilli
Blanched beansprouts (optional)

Heat the oil in a pan until smoky and add in the chopped chilli, minced garlic and sliced ginger. Sautee for a minute until aromatic and add in the chicken mince. Cook until lightly brown, breaking lumps as you go along for approximately 5 minutes. Add in seasoned stock and Thai herbs and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and add in the coconut cream. Heat it through, do not boil and turn off the heat. Pick out the herbs. Drain the glass noodles and place it into 2 serving bowls. Ladle over the hot chicken broth and top with garnishes.

Serve immediately.
(serves 2)

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Ru Rou Fan (Taiwanese Stewed Pork with Stewed Eggs on Rice)

This is so lovely I regret I used very very lean minced pork. If you have the waistline to spare, buy pork belly and finely chop them. They taste so much better. Nonetheless, this is healthily good! I couldn't help but throw in some hard-boiled egg into the gravy and stew it for the whole duration! You can also use Tea Eggs if you like. I added in the mushroom later so it doesn't absorb all the saltiness from the gravy. Same goes to potatoes you know, they both absorb saltiness from you gravy.

I adapted this recipe from Chowtimes, probably a very famous site that needs no further introduction. I can safely tell you this taste so good. I've did it twice, once with minced pork belly and can pretty confirm the later one taste better. I like how the Loh Han Guo (Buddha's Fruit) gives it a very distinct sweetness compared to sugar. The recipe calls for half of the Buddha's Fruit. For the other other half, I place it in a pot with water and dried longan and simmer them for 30mins. Cool them down well and semi freeze them. Blend them and created a sort of Buddha's Fruit's Slushie. It was cold and delicious to down with the meal, which was rather heavy.

Taiwanese Stewed Pork with Egg on Rice

680g fatty minced pork or pork belly, sliced when semi-frozen for easy handling
1/2 Buddha's fruit, cracked and along with the shell as well
2 pieces bay leaves
1 star anise
1 small piece dried orange peel

3 tbsp dark caramel sauce (it's sweet and looks like dark soy sauce)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon five spice powder
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 tbsp rock sugar

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
6 pieces dried Shiitake mushroom, soak well and thinly sliced

Sautee ingredients:
2 tbsp oil
4 pieces of shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger

If you have a food processor, you can save yourself a lot of chopping and mincing. Place the shallots and ginger, both peeled in a processor and pulse until fine. Heat up the oil in a wok and when smoky, add in the ginger-shallot paste and sautee them until fragrant. Add in A and stir and cook, breaking up lumps until slightly brown. Add in the seasoning and 1 cup of water coat well. Let it simmer for 40 minutes or so. f you're using any hard-boiled egg, drop them in now.

Towards the last 10 mins of cooking, add in the sliced mushrooms and cook until time is up. Add in the dark soy sauce and when the colour is up to your liking and flavour. Check for seasoning and saltiness. Slice up the egg and pour over the minced pork and gravy and serve with hot steamed rice.

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Bacon and Chicken Roll with Stuffing and Side Salad

This one is inspired from a recipe from Apples for Jam. From a Pot-Roasted Steak with Spinach and Omelette recipe, I changed it to a Bacon and Chicken Roll with Stuffing.The spinach and omelette stuffing is loosely adapted from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros. It consist of eggs, baby spinach, cheese and sundried tomatoes. I changed the beef to chicken and wrapped it with bacon.

The salad is a baby spinach and carrot salad tossed in a honey mustard vinaigrette. It's raw carrot so make sure you slice it thinly. A vegetable peeler produce thin and long strips beautifully. The roll is lightly browned in pan until the bacon fat is rendered before roasting in the oven until golden brown and cooked.

Bacon and Chicken Roll with Stuffing and Side Salad

The bacon and chicken:
6 slices middle rasher bacons
2 large chicken thigh fillets

Spread out 2 large chicken thigh fillets on a chopping board and slice them horizontally, stopping just before you cut all the way through so that the chicken fillets opens up like a book. Gently use the back of a knife and flatten the meat further so it flattens out, like making schnitzel.

Lay two large sheets of plastic wrap on a clean surface and arrange 3 bacons on each of the plastic wrap, overlapping slightly. Place the flattened chicken fillets on the bacons. Arrange stuffing evenly on both chicken surface and roll up tightly and neatly, guided with the plastic wrap. Chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes so that it holds its shape. Pan fry the roll lightly until brown and that the fat is rendered. Then roast it in the oven for 40 minutes in a moderately hot oven until it is golden brown and that the chicken is cooked through.

Spinach and Omelette Stuffing

1 tbsp oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 bag (300g) baby spinach leaves, washed and drained well
1 tbsp heaped butter
2 egg
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
4 pcs sun-dried tomatoes, chopped to small bits

Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic. When you can smell it, add the baby spinach leaves and cook over medium heat until the spinach wilts, turning it over often so that it cooks evenly. Remove from pan and season with salt. Drain well.

Clean the pan well and dollop the butter in. Beat the egs with the cheese and a pinch of salt. When the butter is melted, pour in the egg mixture and swirl the pan so that it makes a flat omelette. Fry until the omelette is just set, spiking it here and there if necessary so that the uncooked eggs runs to the bottom. Remove from heat and set aside.

Lay half the omelette on each fillet and spread the spinach filling over. Scatter over the sun-dried tomatoes before rolling.

Spinach and Carrot Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

As much baby spinach and carrots to your liking

For the honey mustard vinaigrette:

2 tbsp EVOO
2 tsp White Wine Vinegar (use a real good quality one)
1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp honey
Good salt flakes and freshly grinded black pepper to taste

As you could see, the ingredients are very simple so I'd say if you could, use the best and freshest ingredients for all of them. And because the portion is so small, you can everything in a bowl with a whisk. Combine the WWV, Dijon and honey and whisk to combine. Add in the EVOO in slow drizzle and emulsify until it is slightly thickened. Set aside for flavours to mingle before tossing with the spinach and carrot.

To serve, place some of the salad tossed in dressing on a serving plate. Slice up the bacon roll and arrange them over the salad. Serve immediately.

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Pasta with Prosciutto, Tomato and Oregano

Tessa Kiros imparts easy and simple cooking. Even if you have no proper poultry in your freezer, you still can cook up easy and delicious meal, and they're relatively easy and quick to pull together. With just canned tomatoes, cheese and pasta in your pantry, you still can cook something.

Tessa uses prosciutto in her recipe but I reckon any other ham or pancetta works too. I've used bacon here because that is the only meat I have and because I am just cooking for myself, I wanted something quick and comforting.

Tessa uses dried oregano in her recipe but you could easily substitute it with any other herbs such as dried basil, mixed herbs or even dried parsley or thyme. The sauce will be flavoured differently. This is the second time I did this and yes, it is very tasty!

Pasta with Prosciutto, Tomato and Oregano
(serves 4)

5 tbsp EVOO
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano or any other dried herbs, crushed between your fingers salt
3/4 (16 ounce) package spaghetti or any other dried pasta
6 to 7 slices prosciutto crudo or just bacon or pancetta (raw prosciutto, cut into thin strips)
Grated parmesan cheese, to serve
Chopped fresh chile (optional)

Heat half the oil in a saucepan and saute the garlic over medium-low heat until you start to smell it. Add the tomatoes, oregano, and some salt, lower the heat a little and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, crushing up the tomatoes with your wooden spoon every now and then as you stir so that it melts into a sauce.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta. Add the prosciutto to the sauce and cook briefly to heat through. If you're using bacon, pan fry it until it is lightly browned on both sides. Do not overcrowd your pan if you want them to brown evenly.

Drain the pasta, return it to its pan, and add the sauce and the rest of the oil. Toss lightly to coat the pasta. Spoon into bowls and serve with grated Parmesan all round, and some chopped chile for those who like it.

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Roasted Chicken Rice

I made roasted chicken rice for lunch. It's been a while since we last had something sinful.... I adapted the roasted chicken recipe from Angie of Seasaltwithfood. It's a little tedious, if you ask me because thee are so many sauces to make to accompany it. Aaron really likes the homemade dark soy sauce over his rice but I absolutely adore the ginger and spring onion dip. I ended up making the garlic chili sauce as well. So 3 types of condiments, cucumbers and corianders as garnishes.

And the rice...I cannot stress enough how important it is to get chicken with fats. Throw the fat trimmings into the rice and indulge....They say the yummiest food often is the most unhealthy one and I truly agree. I don't do this often so it is fine. We had an awesome lunch and saved some for dinner and we're still not sick of it.

Minus all the condiments, this is rather easy to make. You marinade the chicken and bake it and cook the rice with chicken broth and fat trimmings. You can chop up some cucumbers and coriander and also tomatoes if you like while the rice is cooking and the chicken is roasting. Use store bought Kecap Manis and Chili Sauce and just make the ginger spring onion dip if you wish to. Bu I'm just more into making things from scratch because I'm pretty picky. So is Aaron. They're often too sweet or not spicy enough or not garlicky enough. And they could easily be made using cheap stuffs, why bother buying really. If you're cooking for plenty, this is really, very worth making!

I do have habits of making chicken broth and storing them in my freezer because they come in so handy when I wanna make Soto Ayam or just simple chicken noodle soup. Like what Angie said, I sometimes add tofu cubes and Wakame seadweed to the soup. Else if left plain, a handful of fried shallots, finely shredded lettuce and a shake of pepper is good enough. All in all, there is many ways you can eat these. Thanks Angie for sharing such wonderfully roasted chicken recipe. They're so easy and your friends would have thought you've slaved over the BBQ pit for hours!

Roasted Chicken (serves 4 to 5)
adapted from Angie and Choesf

4 large whole marylands or use one whole chicken, trimmed off fat
1 tbsp Honey
2 tbsp ginger juice
1 tsp 5-spice powder
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp light soy sauce

Marinate the chicken all the ingredients for 30 minutes. Keep in fridge while you preheat the oven to 200˚C. Drain the chicken and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and evenly browned all over.

Chicken stock:
2 whole chicken carcass
6 cups of water
1 spring onion, chopped to 3cm length pieces

Bring all the above to boil and simmer, covered for approximately an hour to 90mins. Skim the surface at the beginning until no foams are visible, only clear liquid stock.

Set aside and use it to cook the rice and the following sauces.

Chicken Rice:
2.5 cups of rice, washed and drained well
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 shallot, finely sliced
3 slices of thick age old ginger, smashed to release aroma
2 pandan leaves, washed, knotted
1 tsp salt
Enough chicken stock to cook 2 cups of rice
All the chicken fat trimmings from the marylands

Depending on how much fat trimmings you obtain, add a little oil if necessary into a pan and heat it up. Add in the the chicken fat and when they are rendering, toss in the ginger, garlic and shallots. Stir fry them until fragrant and garlic start turning a light brown colour. Toss in the drained rice and salt and stir to coat well and stir fry for a while to let flavour mingle a bit. Pour everything back into the rice cooker and add enough chicken stock to cook it. Throw in the pandan leaves and let the rice cooker do the cooking whilst you get along and do the condiments.

Garlic- Chili Sauce
2 large red chilies, seeds removed
5 slices of thick aged old ginger, scraped with the back of spoon to peel it
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 tbsp of lime juice
1/4 cup of chicken stock
1 tbsp sugar or more
1/2 tsp salt or to taste

Process everything above until smooth and set aside. If you have a mortar and pestle, pound it first before processing and adding all the liquids. Pour them out on a dipping dish and set aside. Rinse your food processor and get ready for the next dipping sauce!

Ginger-Spring Onion Dipping Sauce:

2 spring onion, green part only, roughly chopped
Large thumb size piece of peeled age old ginger, roughly chopped
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp peanut oil

Process the ginger and spring onion until very fine. Tip them out into a heat resistant dipping saucer. Heat up the oil and when they are smoking, pour them into the ginger mixture. It will sizzle so step back. Stir to coat around. The oil will turn to a light shade of greenish like. Set aside.

Thick Black Sauce or Kecap Manis Dip:

1/2 tbsp oil or chicken fats if you have a lot to spare an are not worry about the cholesterol!
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 tbsp sugar
Thickener: 1 tbsp cornstarch + 3 tbsp cold water, stir to dissolve

Heat the oil or chicken fats in a pan and add in the minced garlic. Saute for a while and add in the chicken stock. Bring to boil and boil it for 2 minutes or so. Add in the sugar and stir to dissolve. Thicken with the thickener. Depending on how thick you want them to be, you might not necessarily use all of them. Pour them out into a dipping dish and set aside.


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