Tag Archives: shiitake

Oyako-don: Parent-Child Rice Bowl

oyakodon2

With the temperatures beginning to dip as we head into fall, it’s nice to have a steaming bowl of comfort for dinner.  Of course, for me, comfort food often involves food of my childhood, which is usually Japanese or Hawaiian.  But Oyako-don is something I never ate until I went to Japan as an adult.  Literally translated, it means “Parent” (oya) “Child” (ko) “Rice Bowl” (don or donburi).  The name refers to the chicken and egg in the dish.  It’s kind of a cute and not-so-cute image at the same time.  Regardless, this dish is so quick and easy to prepare and so tasty, it’s a nice weeknight choice for our family.  Even my son, who doesn’t usually care for mushrooms, will gobble up the shiitake mushrooms.  I use dried ones.  The hot water used to reconstitute the shiitake is delicious and can be added into the simmering sauce for a heartier flavor.

Dried shiitake mushrooms can be found in Asian or health food stores.

Dried shiitake mushrooms can be found in Asian or health food stores.

After soaking in boiling water for about 10 minutes.

After soaking in boiling water for about 10 minutes.

We are big onion eaters, so I use a lot – 2 1/2 to 3 cups of sliced onions.  But you don’t have to use that much.  Also, we like a lot of sauce so that it becomes almost soup-like at the end to eat with the rice.  That too, you can adjust to your liking.

It all comes together in about 10-15 minutes!

It all comes together in about 10-15 minutes!

See recipe below.

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princeton poster

This Saturday, we three will be at the Princeton Children’s Book Festival in Princeton, NJ.  If you are in the area, please stop by!  I will be signing TRUCK STOP with Anne Rockwell, and HUSH LITTLE MONSTER with my husband, Denis. The festival is from 11-4 at the Princeton Public Library.  There will be a HUGE array of amazing authors and illustrators (Avi, Sophie Blackall, Brett Hilquist, Roxie Munroe, Paul O. Zelinsky are among the 80 there) signing books.  Check it out here.

I’m hoping to make another batch of mini donuts.  Remember these?
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Oyako-don

4 dried shiitake mushrooms

1 chicken breast (about 10-ounces), sliced diagonally into thin strips

1 onion, sliced thinly (1 1/2 – 3 cups depending on your preference)

4 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons mirin

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup water

4 eggs

hot cooked white rice

1.  Bring a kettle of water to boil.  Place dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with hot water.  Place a smaller bowl on top to weight the mushrooms down.

2.  Meanwhile,  prep chicken and onions.

3.  Heat the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and water in a large skillet on the stove and dissolve sugar.  Bring to a boil and add chicken and onions.  At this point, the mushrooms are probably softened.  Drain and reserve liquid.  Slice the shiitake caps into thin slices and add to skillet.  Depending on how soup-y you want your sauce, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the shiitake liquid to the skillet.  Turn heat down and simmer for about 3-5 minutes until chicken is cooked through and onions are softened.

4.  Beat eggs in a bowl with a fork.  Pour over skillet.  Cover and turn down to low.  Let cook a bit until the eggs are set — about 1-2 minutes.

To serve, mound piles of rice into deep bowls.  Divide the skillet contents into fourths, and top each bowl with a portion of the chicken, onion, mushroom, egg mixture.  Spoon extra sauce on top to your liking.

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Filed under Books, chicken, Dinner, Eggs

National Soup Month and Soup Day Giveaway!

I can’t believe January is almost over!  Did you know January is National Soup Month? I’ve been making and eating soup all month with my new Vitamix that my wonderful husband gave me for Christmas.

The cool thing about the Vitamix is that you can throw in a bunch of veggies and liquid into the canister and “cook” the soup as you blend.  The powerful motor is four times as strong as a regular blender and can run for five minutes on high.  This causes friction which creates the heat to “cook” the soup.

I’ve been doing a hybrid of stove top cooking and vitamix “cooking” to make my soups. I love to put caramelized onions and/or garlic in my soups, and I find that cooking them on the stove first with seasonings and then blending makes a tastier soup.

Here are some of the soups I’ve been enjoying and tinkering with:

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup

Creamy Cauliflower Zucchini Soup

White Bean and Shiitake Mushroom Soup

I am celebrating National Soup Month by giving away a personalized autographed copy of  my book, Soup Day (which includes a recipe for Snowy Day Vegetable soup).

To enter the Soup Day book giveaway, do one or all (to increase your chances) of the following:

1.  Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite soup (recipe) is.

AND/OR

2.  Tweet (Hey everyone enter the @meliwai Soup Day giveaway! http://wp.me/pNxYO-tW) about this giveaway and follow me on Twitter

AND/OR

3.  Follow me on Facebook and leave me a comment about it.

4. Post about this giveaway on your Facebook page with my link (http://wp.me/pNxYO-tW).

Contest is open until February 6, 2012, midnight (EST).
Tuesday, February 7,  I’ll choose a winner using a random number generator and it on the blog.  🙂 I will also email the winner.  You’ll have one week (7 days) to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen. Giveaway is open to anyone in the world.  🙂

Soup Day is also available in stores and online.  I have already written the sequel, and am required to sell a lot of copies of it in order to make that happen! Thanks for your support!

And now, on to the recipes:

Garnished with roasted acorn seeds and crushed pepper.

1 small roasted acorn squash

½ small onion, sliced thinly, about ½ cup

½ teaspoon oil

pinch of kosher salt

1 cup chicken broth (or other broth you prefer)

¼ cup milk

½ teaspoon curry

½ teaspoon cumin

1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Roast acorn squash and toast seeds.  To see how to do this, check out this post.
  2. Cut roasted acorn squash in to large cubes.
  3. Heat oil in sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and sprinkle with salt.  Saute until soft and translucent.  Add acorn squash, chicken broth, milk, and spices and simmer for about 10-14 minutes. (Alternatively throw everything in Vitamix including parmesan and blend on high for five minutes.  Serve.)
  4. Blend soup with immersion blender or process in blender in batches, being careful not to fill blender more than half way.  Remove center cap and cover lightly with a towel while blending.
  5. Serve garnished with toasted acorn squash seeds.

Creamy Cauliflower and Zucchini Soup

Garnished with grated parmesan and crushed pepper.

1 half head of cauliflower (about 12 oz.) cut into florets

1 small zucchini (about 6 oz.), cut into slices

½ teaspoon oil

1 small onion sliced thinly, about 1 cup

salt and pepper to taste

Dash of dried thyme

2 cups chicken broth (or other broth you prefer)

1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

  1. Steam cauliflower and zucchini in microwave for about 4-5 minutes or in steamer on stove for about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and sprinkle with salt.  Saute until soft and translucent.  Season to taste with thyme.
  3. Add steamed cauliflower and zucchini and broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  (Alternatively throw everything in Vitamix including parmesan and blend on high for five minutes.  Serve.)
  4. Add parmesan and blend with immersion blender or blend soup in blender in batches, being careful not to fill blender more than half way.  Remove center cap and cover lightly with a towel while blending.
  5. Garnish with extra parmesan if desired.

White Bean and Shiitake Mushroom Soup

Garnished with whipped cottage cheese, shiitake, and multigrain cracker.

This is a very thick soup – the consistency is that of condensed mushroom soup.  If you want a thinner soup, use 1/2 the amount of beans.

5 g of dried shiitake mushroom or other dried mushroom such as porcini

1 can of white beans (1/2 can if you want thinner soup)

½ teaspoon olive oil

Dash of kosher salt

Dash of thyme and marjoram

1 small onion sliced thinly, about 1 cup

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 ½ cups chicken broth or more for thinning

  1. Place dried mushrooms in a medium sized bowl and pour about ½ cup boiling water to cover.  I usually place a smaller dish or bowl on top to keep the mushrooms submerged.  Let sit for about 10 minutes. Drain mushrooms, but save the soaking liquid.
  2. Meanwhile rinse beans in colander with water to remove excess salt and drain.
  3. Slice softened shiitake into thin strips
  4. Saute onion in olive oil over medium low heat until soft.  Season with sat and spices.  Add shiitake soaking liquid and braise for until liquid evaporates.  Add garlic and sauté until softened.  Add shiitake and sauté for a few more minutes.
  5. Reserve about ¼ cup of sauted mushrooms and onions and set aside.
  6. Add broth and white beans to pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for about fifteen minutes.   (Alternatively, throw everything into Vitamix and blend on high for five minutes. Add reserved shiitake and onion and blend for a few seconds on low to combine.  Serve.)
  7. Blend with immersion blender or transfer soup to blender in process in batches, being careful not to fill blender more than half way.  Remove center cap and cover lightly with a towel while blending.  Add reserved shiitake and onion and pulse to combine.  Add more hot broth if you want to thin soup out to desired consistency.
  8. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche, sour cream or whipped cottage cheese.

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Filed under Art Related, Soup, Soup, Vegetables