There was a time in my life when I ate oyakodons for lunch every day. I didn’t get sick of them, in fact, the more I ate them, the more I craved them. I would be in a lecture, (not) listening to the professor, and thinking about the oyakodon I would soon be eating. The oyakondons were not particularly good, in fact, they weren’t; I was just obsessed.
I love eggs and chicken together and Chang’s Chicken and Egg dish is the ultimate comfort food: creamy eggs, smoky chicken, steamy white rice. Of course, the Momofuku dish takes pre-planning, pre-cooking and a 40 minute egg. Not exactly instant and when you’re craving a good oyakodon, sometimes what you need is instant.
Traditional oyakodon is bite-sized chicken chunks, eggs and sliced onions simmered in a dashi sauce and then served over white rice. It’s simple home cooking at it’s best and it’s pretty hard to mess up.
I love the softness of the stewed chicken in regular oyakodons, but I wanted some textural context, so instead of simmering the chicken, I katsu-ed it and topped it with a soft dashi onion omelette. Katsu-ing, or breading and frying, is not exactly instant, but it is marginally faster than Chang’s 24-hour cold-smoking chicken process.
Breading the chicken in panko gives the chicken an incredible light and crunchy coating. Panko bread crumbs are made from bread with no crusts, so the crumbs are lighter, larger and crispier than regular bread crumbs. I’m in love with panko. As a major crispaholic, anything that can make food crispier is a pantry staple.
I think I could eat this chicken katsu-oyakodon for lunch every day. The light crispiness of the chicken, the sweet-savory soft eggs, the steamed rice. Oh, oyakodon, why did I ever abandon you?
Chicken Katsu-Oyakodon Recipe
Yield: 2 servings
2 cups of cooked white rice
4 chicken drumsticks, de-boned and cut into bite-sized chunks (see below)
2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko
oil for pan-frying
1/2 cup dashi
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon mirin
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
sliced green onions for garnish
1. Set up a breading station and break the chunks of chicken by dipping in flour, shaking off excess, dipping in egg, and then in panko. Continue until all chicken is breaded.
2. Heat up oil to 375˚F in a frying pan. Shallow fry chicken in batches until golden brown and cooked. To check, cut a piece of chicken in half. Drain on paper towels and set aside while you cook your onions and eggs.
3. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a sauce pan on medium-high heat. Add the onions and pan-fry until cooked and soft, but not brown. Add the dashi, soy sauce, and mirin and turn the heat to high. When the mirin mixture comes to a boil, add the eggs and turn the heat off and cover the pan so the eggs cook in the residual heat for about 3-4 minutes.
4. Fill rice bowls and place chicken katsu on top. Scoop soft omelette and dashi broth onto the chicken and rice. Garnish with green onions. Enjoy!
How to debone a chicken