Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Chicken and Mushroom Donburi

"Donburi" means a one-dish meal that is eaten from a bowl, and takes its name from the eponymous Japanese porcelain food bowl. As in most Japanese dishes, the rice here is completely plain but its nevertheless an integral part of the dish. Recipe serves 4.


2 teaspoons groundnut oil
2 ounces (60 g) butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 inch (2.5 cm) piece of fresh root ginger, grated
5 spring onions, diagonally sliced
1 green fresh chili, seeded and finely sliced
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
5 ounces (150 g) tofu, cut into small cubes
4 ounces (125 g) shiitake mushrooms, stalks discarded and cups sliced
1 tablespoon Japanese rice wine
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 2/3 cups chicken stock
Generous 1-1 1/2 cups Japanese rice or Thai fragrant rice


1. Cook the rice by the absorption method or by following the instructions on the packet.
2. While the rice is cooking, heat the oil and half the butter in a large frying pan. Stir-fry the garlic, ginger, spring onions and chili for 1-2 minutes until slightly softened. Add the strips of chicken and fry, in batches if necessary, until all the pieces are evenly browned.
3. Transfer the chicken mixture to a plate and add the tofu to the pan. Stir- fry for a few minutes, then add the mushrooms. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat until the mushrooms are tender.
4. Stir in the rice wine, soy sauce and sugar and cook briskly for 1-2 minutes, stirring all the time. Return the chicken to the pan, toss over the heat for about 2 minutes, then pour in the stock. Stir well and cook over a gentle heat for 5-6 minutes until bubbling.
5. Spoon the rice into individual serving bowls and pile the chicken mixture on top, making sure that each portion gets a generous amount of chicken sauce.

Tip: Once the rice is cooked, leave it covered until ready to serve. It will stay warm for about 30 minutes. Fork through lightly just before serving.

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