This is another donburi, a bowl of rice topped with soy-simmered finely ground chicken. It’s a recipe from one of my other Japanese cook books,
“Washoku – Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen.” I was inspired by the Washoku Warriors, a group of food-bloggers who are planning to cook through Elizabeth Andoh’s book. Their posts about this dish made me hungry and I’m now recommending it to my readers. Besides being easy to make and beautiful, it is delicious and will appeal even to people who are not adventurous diners.
First make the tori soboro (gingery soy-simmered ground chicken). Note that you can make extra because this mixture freezes well and can be used as a rice topping or as filling for onigiri. I think it would be good as a stuffing for roasted eggplants as well.
Gingery Ground Chicken
serves 4 generously as a don topping, or 12 rice balls
from Washoku, by Elizabeth Andoh
- 1 pound ground chicken (a combination of dark and light meat)
- 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons saké
- 2 ½ teaspoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons shoyu
- 1 ½ teaspoons ginger juice
Place the chicken in a cold skillet. Add the saké and sugar and stir to separate the bits of meat before starting to cook. Put the pan over low heat and cook, breaking up the meat into crumblike clusters. Ground chicken is stickier than beef, so pay close attention until the chicken is cooked.
If your chicken is fattier than mine was, skim off excess fat now.
Add the soy sauce and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the ginger juice. Turn the heat up to reduce the excess liquid in the pan—you don’t want the meat to become dry, but it should not be soupy. Remove from the heat, let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat over low heat, adding a few drops of water, if necessary, and stirring to break up clusters.
Three Color Rice Bowl
San Shoku Donburi
4 – 5 rice bowls
from Washoku, by Elizabeth Andoh
- Gingery Ground Chicken
- 1 ¼ cup fresh or thawed frozen shelled green peas
- 1 ¼ cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
- Boiling water
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 1 Tablespoon shredded red pickled ginger or 4 cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 sheet toasted nori, cut into fine threads
If the chicken is freshly prepared, keep it hot. If it has been refrigerated or frozen and thawed, place in a skillet over high heat and stir until hot to break up the bits of meat. If you are using fresh peas and corn, bring a small saucepan filled with water to a rolling boil, add the peas, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and set aside. Repeat with the fresh corn. If you are using frozen vegetables, place the peas and corn into separate cups and pour boiling water over them. Let stand for a few minutes and then drain.
Assemble the dish:
Divide the rice among 4 donburi or other deep bowls. Lay a chopstick across the rim of one bowl, dividing it in half; this will be your guide. Use a spoon to cover one side of the bowl with one quarter of the cooked chicken. Turn the chopstick perpendicular, then cover one quarter of the rice with peas, and the remaining quarter with corn. Arrange a cut cherry tomato (or pickled ginger) in the center and sprinkle with nori threads. Repeat with the remaining bowls.