Nov 20, 2016
Oyakodon with chicken grilled over coal. Unusual apparently.
I usually associate oyakodon (親子丼) with the kind of Japanese dish that can be easily whipped up a home when you're bereft of ideas for anything else. It's a simple enough job; boil up some rice, thrown some eggs and chicken chunks into dashi and simmer for a bit, put one on top of the other. It's rare that I would go out and eat oyakodon in a restaurant. There was that one time I want to Tamahide (玉ひで) in Ningyocho, Tokyo, a restaurant that has gotten itself known as serving the best oyakodon in the city, if not the whole of Japan, but I haven't been out for it since. Until today. A couple of us went to place in Ginza called ふなちゅう (Funachu) which serves lunch sets of tempura, sashimi, tempura/sashimi mix, and oyakodon.
For 1,100 yen my oyakodon lunch set came with a side salad, soup from chicken stock, pickles, and a rich matcha pudding for dessert. The square dish in the picture above it shichimi (sprinkle on for a bit of heat).
As, I'm told, with most places serving oyakodon, it comes in a deceptively large bowl that looks impressively deep. It's not. That said, this is a dish that can be a little heavy so the deception is perhaps a good thing.
When my Japanese friends cook oyakodon, the egg gets a cursory glance of the frying pan before it's thrown on top of the rice i.e, it's way under cooked for my liking. Reassuringly, the egg in ふなちゅう is pretty well cooked.
Tamahide is famed for it's 'special' chicken. The standard dishes there come with a mix of meat from this 'special' bird, and that from birds which seem to be looked down upon as common as muck! I can hand on heart say that the meat from the 'special' bird is like chewing on a pair of old boots, and would normally be pushed aside on plates back home. Here, the chicken (I don't know how special) is grilled on coal before being added to the eggs and dashi which is apparently unusual for oyakodon. I liked it very much; catching the occasional over-grilled sharpness makes for a nice contrast from what is an almost sweet dish.
Those two ball-type-things in the soup are まり麩 (marifu); some kind of wheat gluten business. No taste to speak of, but they look suitably Japanese.
oyakodon remains a kind of stay at home and cook kind of dish for this blogger, but next time I'm after a bit of 'burn' on the chicken, I'll be giving this place another go.
What's your stay-at-home-and-cook go to Japanese food?