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Chicken Katsudon (Japanese crumbed chicken and egg rice bowl)

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This is my take on the traditional Katsudon recipe (which uses a crumbed pork cutlet), but I personally prefer it with chicken schnitzel.

Before you begin, ensure you have yourself some Shichi-mi tōgarashi (Japanese red pepper mix). This stuff makes this dish something special. It should be readily available in supermarkets or speciality shops (depending on where you are). I'll link you to the brand I use from my local supermarket so you can see the ingredients (which will vary slightly between brands): https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/productdetails/803610/house-foods-shichimi-togarashi. In my opinion, this is a non-negotiable! This stuff has a unique flavour not replicated with other peppers/chillis.

(Serves 4)

430 grams (2 AU/UK cups) of sushi rice (or enough for 4 people)
4 good quality chicken breast schnitzels (plain if possible, avoid the ones with herbs and/or garlic)
4-6 eggs
20 mL (1 AU tablespoon) of soy sauce
1 good pinch of white sugar
1 large-ish brown onion (halved, then thinly sliced)
80-100 mL chicken stock (powdered stock or bouillon cube prepared as per pack instructions is fine for this dish, just adjust the ratio of water/stock or freeze the unused excess)
2 spring onion/scallion stalks (white and 1/2 of the green part chopped)
Tamari (or soy sauce) to serve
Shichi-mi tōgarashi to serve


1. Bake the chicken schnitzels in the oven or on a fry pan (however you like, as long as they are cooked through, crispy, golden brown and not oily). You can make your own schnitzels if you like, but that requires a lot more effort. Just buy good quality chicken breast schnitzel, they'll be fine.

2. Meanwhile, rinse/wash the rice very well (until the water runs clear). Cook according to the packet directions. I like my rice just beyond al dente, so it still has some texture to it, but not too firm and not over-cooked. It should be about the same texture as you find in a sushi roll. If you're using the stovetop, I find that usually 1 cup of rice to 1.5 cups of cold water is a good guide, then once the water is mostly evaporated, turn the heat off and let it finish off for 5-10 minutes under its own steam (don't remove the lid!!). The rice will happily sit there and keep warm until you're ready to use it.

3. While the rice/chicken is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients so they are ready to go. At this point you want to also combine the stock, soy and sugar into a bowl and set it aside. You need to be fairly quick when cooking this as it's important not to over-cook things from this point onwards. You will also need to find a lid that fits your pan(s) (see point 4).

4. Heat a frying pan over medium heat (you can use a small frying pan if you want to make individual serves, or one large one if you want to do it all at once, then divide it up, I usually do the former since I have multiple small pans and it presents a bit nicer). Add a little oil (peanut, rice bran or other high-temperature oil works well) then add the onion (a quarter if you are doing a single serve or all of it if you're doing it all at once). Fry the onion over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until it starts to soften (you don't want to cook the crap out of it and you don't want it to burn/brown too much, keep it light coloured). While this is happening, slice the cooked schnitzel into about 1cm thick slices.

5. Once the onion is about done, place the schnitzel on top of the onion (once again, use 1 for a single serve, or all of them for the larger pan). Try to keep the chicken slices relatively together. Then, lightly whisk the egg and add it to the pan (1 egg per serve, unless the eggs are small or you like extra egg, then add 2). It's OK if a little of the egg goes in between the chicken slices. Place the stock/soy/sugar mixture into the pan (or divide the total amount by 4 for single serves). Don't mix it, just cover the pan with a tight fitting lid.

6. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the egg is more or less done. The egg should be just set and still a little runny in places (but not raw) and certainly not well done! You want to leave some liquid in there for the rice to soak up and it will firm up a bit more under its own steam once you serve. You may or may not use all the stock mixture. It should just tint your eggs and add a bit of extra moisture to form a "sauce", but not cause them to be swimming in liquid. While the egg is cooking, divide the rice into serving bowls. Once the egg/chicken/onion mixture is done cooking, scoop it out and place it on top of the rice. Top with some shallots, Shichi-mi tōgarashi and a small drizzle of tamari/soy (of course, adjusted to your tastes). I like quite a lot of the Japanese red pepper and just enough tamari to give the underlying rice a little bit of extra taste. I'll keep adding extra pepper as I go to flavour the rest of the rice.

This dish is filling! A small amount goes a long way. I tend to back off on the rice a bit and use extra egg (I like egg). Once you've cooked it once or twice, you'll realise it's a really quick and simple dish to make.

To give you a bit of a visual guide, once assembled, it should look like this:

Ah, no, that picture is incorrect, it's not on my table.

But it will be on my table. Tomorrow, after my sichimushi tortoise thing arrived.


--- Quote from: Ysjoelfir on March 04, 2021, 05:44:36 pm ---after my sichimushi tortoise thing arrived.

--- End quote ---


The thing arrived and I can already agree, if you want to try this dish, you definitely need that stuff, it is a very interesting spice blend and should bring a flavour richness into the dish. Very looking forward to this evening when I will be preparing it.


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