The Chicken and Egg Situation
At Bincho we are forever harping on about how simple our food is, priding ourselves on carefully sourced quality ingredients, a few minutes on the grill, a touch of salt, a dip in yakitori sauce etc etc.
We then subsequently come unstuck when asked for recipes that are suitable for the home cook because unless everybody has a Japanese barbeque set up with high temperature Bincho-tan charcoal in their back garden things can get tricky.
One utterly delicious recipe on our menu does however spring to mind as being just as good made at home than at the restaurant and for this you will not need to rely on a paco jet, water bath, liquid nitrogen or more importantly a yakitori grill.
Its sinister translation literally means ’mother and child’ although we would prefer to describe it as simply chicken and egg on rice.
There are many variations of this dish, this is an adaptation on the one we serve at Bincho
You will need for four
6-8 cups of hot cooked rice – don’t even consider Uncle bens which is sadly not up to this – treat yourself to a bag of Japanese rice.
4-5 large free range eggs - as fresh as possible – the finished dish contains egg that is only part cooked
200 gms diced chicken thigh in 1/4 inch [3/4cm pieces] breasts don’t work for this, chicken breasts tastes like cotton wool when boiled, if you are worried about the calories take the skin off!
1 bunch of spring onions
and for the sauce ….
625 ml dashi – Japanese stock available from most decent supermarkets in dehydrated form, Chicken stock will do…at a push]
6 tbsps Japanese dark soy sauce kikkoman or yamasa are the preferred brands
3 tbsps light soy sauce
3 tbsps sugar
Mix [do not beat!] eggs in a bowl lightly with chopsticks or fork and set aside.
Wash and clean spring onions then cut into 1 inch lengths [2.5 cm].
Now combine all sauce ingredients in a medium size saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer, add chicken and simmer until the meat is 3/4 cooked [ around 2-3 minutes].
Add onion and simmer again for 1 more minute. Taste at this point – adjust seasoning if necessary.
Now for the fun part - pour in the eggs gently in a steady stream around the chicken in the simmering sauce.
Let the egg spread naturally.
DO NOT STIR! … keep heat at medium high until till the egg starts to bubble at the edges.
At this point, stir once, the egg will have almost set but will still be a little runny.
The idea is that the high temperature of the rice over which the egg will be placed will do the final cooking so do not let the egg cook hard.
Finally put rice in bowl and with a large spoon scoop a portion of the semi-cooked egg topping on the top.
This is a Japanese classic, tastes better than it sounds and once mastered will keep anyone satisfied…..at least until the barbecue season is upon us again.